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France's outgoing envoy to Taiwan lauds growing bilateral ties

France's outgoing envoy to Taiwan lauds growing bilateral ties

Taipei, July 14 (CNA) France's outgoing representative to Taiwan said Tuesday in Taipei that relations between the two countries have been expanding, particularly in areas such as trade and people-to-people exchanges. Bilateral economic dialogue has also become more positive, as both sides have been able to make progress on difficult issues, while two-way trade reached almost 4 billion euros in 2014, said Olivier Richard, director of the French Office in Taipei, at a reception to celebrate France's Independence Day. Taiwan's importation of French food products has expanded, he noted, drawing attention to some of the dishes at the reception, which he said contained French products that were allowed into Taiwan with effect from 2014. He described the relations between France and Taiwan as outstanding, especially in the fields of culture, arts, science and higher education. The French Office is also working on strengthening cooperation in the areas of technological innovation and academic exchanges, Richard said. He said, however, that although Taiwan and France share common values such as democracy and a commitment to human rights, both sides still have differences on some issues such as the death penalty. "But we have a dialogue on our differences," Richard added. He also said the French community in Taiwan is constantly growing, thanks mainly to cross-cultural marriages, which is an indication that foreign nationals enjoy the quality of life in Taiwan and the kindness and hospitality of the Taiwanese people. Richard, who assumed duties as director of the French Office in Taipei in late 2011, said it was his third stint in Taiwan. "This Bastille Day has a particular flavor for me, as it is the last one I am celebrating with you in my capacity of director of the French Office in Taipei," he said. Richard first came here as a student and returned to work at the French Office in Taipei about 20 years ago, he said. "Each time I left Taiwan, I thought that I would be glad to come back," he said. "It is still the way I feel today." He is scheduled to leave his post in Taiwan later this summer. (By Elaine Hou)


Updated : 2021-09-22 22:28 GMT+08:00