European Innovation Week kicks off in Taipei

The largest European trade delegation in history of the event arrived in Taipei, as Taiwan's government pursues a Bilateral Investment Agreement with the EU

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 Antti Peltomäki (center left) and Shih Jun-ji (center right)

 Antti Peltomäki (center left) and Shih Jun-ji (center right)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The “European Innovation Week” began this week in Taipei, with an opening ceremony hosted by the Deputy Director of the European Commission’s General Directorate for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs,  Antti Peltomäki, who is visiting Taiwan this week with a delegation from the EU.

Taiwan’s Vice Premier Shih Jun-ji (施俊吉) also spoke at the event, and both Peltomäki and Shi expressed their hopes and optimism for the future of business and trade partnerships between Taiwan and Europe.

The Vice Premier also expressed his desire to begin working on a framework for developing a Bilateral Trade Agreement with Europe as soon as possible.

“European Innovation Week” is held every other year in Taiwan, with a “Taiwan Innovation Week” taking place in Brussels every year in between. This year the delegation from Europe consisted of over 100 trade and business representatives from 16 different European companies, and across 18 industries, the largest delegation in the history of the event, according to Liberty Times.

The Taiwanese delegation hosting the visitors from Europe consists of officials
from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, TAITRA, the Environmental Protection Administration, as well as business representatives from a number of industries.

Peltomäki, who first visited Taiwan in 2016 for the last “European Innovation Week” said that Taiwan’s development has remained steady, and is being guided by pragmatic policies. He also stated that Taiwan and Europe have many of the same goals and values, and that as a trade representative of the EU he is happy to help Taiwan and Europe do business together, and that he sees many opportunities on the horizon.

He suggested that growth opportunities should be considered primarily for the benefit of small to medium enterprises in both regions, while maintaining strategies that emphasize “sustainability and innovation.”

Taiwan and Europe have a stable and expanding trade relationship with total trade volume between both countries totaling over 50 billion Euros (US$58.5 billion) last year year, which represents an increase of 10 percent over 2016, reports Liberty Times.

Vice Premier Shih said that both Europe and Taiwan occupy key positions in some of the most important global industries, like; ICT, medicine and biotech, renewable energy and machine manufacturing.

Shih says that a Bilateral Investment Agreement should be drafted in order to guarantee more future cooperation and build on the successful trade relationship that Europe and Taiwan have already established.