Skip to main content

Remarks by Deputy Minister Tien, Chung-kwang at the 36th Joint Conference of the ROC-Australia & Australia-Taiwan Business Councils

  • Data Source:Department of International Cooperation and Economic Affairs
  • Date:2023-08-15

Tien, Chung-kwang
 Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
 Republic of China (Taiwan)
 August 15, 2023
(As delivered)

Good morning!

I am honored to attend this important event. First of all, on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I extend a sincere welcome to you all. Over the years, this joint conference has endeavored to strengthen people-to-people relations among our nations’ business communities, expand bilateral commerce and trade ties, and increase opportunities for investment and technological collaboration. And your organizations have received widespread recognition for their valuable contributions to building communications channels and enhancing the partnership between our countries.

In recent years, the multifaceted Taiwan-Australia relationship has grown even closer, propelled by our shared values of democracy, freedom, human rights, and the rule of law. Our nations have continued to explore and identify a growing number of cooperative issues and opportunities in such areas as education, tourism, trade, culture, science, and security. This has yielded numerous mutually beneficial outcomes. 

Taiwan is Australia’s fourth-largest export market and fifth-largest trading partner. Australia is a major exporter of mineral resources and agricultural products to Taiwan. Australia imports computers and parts, refined petroleum, and integrated circuits from Taiwan. In 2022, the total value of Taiwan’s trade with Australia exceeded 31.8 billion US dollars. Australia’s major role in supplying agricultural products and the significant value of Taiwan’s high-tech exports epitomize the complementary nature of our nations’ trade relationship.

Given this excellent track record, both sides might well consider the possibility of signing a bilateral economic cooperation agreement in the very near future. This would stimulate even more mutually beneficial opportunities. We also look forward to Australia leading support for Taiwan’s inclusion in the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. Taiwan’s accession to the CPTPP would benefit Australia as a member country. It would also have a favorable effect on the region and beyond. We urge our Australian counterparts to back Taiwan’s case and encourage the CPTPP to establish an accession working group for Taiwan as soon as possible.

Both of our nations are responding to the challenges of climate change. Taiwan is actively promoting sources of green energy, including solar and wind power. Australia is developing hydrogen energy. Working together, our countries can jointly contribute to sustainable development and carbon neutrality. This will spur progress toward our common goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Taiwan and Australia are key members of the Indo-Pacific region. Our nations stand shoulder to shoulder on maintaining regional stability and promoting peaceful development. And we are both committed to upholding the rules-based international order and employing transparency and accountability as the basis for cooperation and business operations. However, the expansion of authoritarianism threatens to disrupt commercial interactions and erode the freedom and openness of the Indo-Pacific region. This has raised serious concern among democracies.  

Australia has done much to bolster support for democracy and freedom and raise awareness of the challenges posed by authoritarian actors and states. The people of Taiwan are proud of their democracy and encouraged by Australia’s determination to promote and safeguard such ideals. Taiwan is ready to work with Australia to meet future challenges and safeguard peace and prosperity throughout our region.

Looking ahead, I have every confidence that Taiwan and Australia will continue to deepen ties based on the solid foundation we have already built together. The ROC-Australia and Australia-Taiwan business councils have long played a key role in this process. We look forward to working with you all as we seek to reach new milestones on the path to even stronger Taiwan-Australia relations.

Finally, I wish you all a successful and productive conference. Thank you!