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Remarks by Deputy Minister Tien, Chung-kwang at a reception for King’s Day of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

  • Data Source:Department of European Affairs
  • Date:2023-04-25

Tien, Chung-kwang
 Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Republic of China (Taiwan)
 April 25, 2023
(As Prepared for Delivery)

Ladies and gentlemen:

It is a great pleasure to be here to celebrate King’s Day—the birthday of the head of state of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander. On behalf of the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan), I extend my warmest congratulations to His Majesty and the people of the Netherlands on this auspicious occasion.

Relations between Taiwan and the Netherlands date back to the 17th century, when the Dutch established a presence in southern Taiwan. This connection marks an important part of our shared history and cultural heritage. Today, we continue to cooperate closely in every sphere, including investment, trade, and culture. 

The Netherlands has long been a key investment partner of Taiwan. Accumulated Dutch investments in Taiwan topped 37.4 billion US dollars in 2022, making the Netherlands one of our largest sources of foreign direct investment among European countries. The Netherlands is also Taiwan’s second-largest trading partner in Europe. Bilateral trade reached 19 billion US dollars in 2022. 

Taiwan and the Netherlands are both export-oriented economies known for cutting-edge innovation in areas such as agriculture, high tech, and biotechnology. The closeness of our partnership in semiconductors is also well known. The Dutch company ASML—which supplies the world’s chipmakers with photolithography systems—is an indispensable partner for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. And TSMC is the world’s largest dedicated independent semiconductor foundry and Taiwan’s護國神山, which means “sacred mountain that protects the nation.” From this description, it is not difficult to see the importance of both TSMC and ASML to Taiwan. 

In the past three years, the COVID-19 pandemic has sent shock waves throughout the world economy. Thankfully, Taiwan was largely unaffected and economic ties with other countries, including the Netherlands, have continued to strengthen. Under the excellent leadership of Representative Tielman, the fifth economic and trade dialogue between Taiwan and the Netherlands was held in Taipei this February. It was the first in-person talks between our sides since the pandemic, and we made a lot of progress in areas such as semiconductors, sustainable energy, water management, cybersecurity, industry innovation, and cold chain cooperation. I am sure that with the continued support of Representative Tielman and his able colleagues from the Netherlands Office Taipei, as well as through our joint efforts, the relationship between our countries will further deepen in the years ahead. 

In closing, I wish the Netherlands continued prosperity and our nations everlasting friendship. 

Leve de Koning! Hoera!