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Taiwan eager to sign economic cooperation deal with Australia

National Development Council says Taiwan, Australian economies complement each other

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(Patrick Terminals Melbourne photo)

(Patrick Terminals Melbourne photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan looks forward to signing an economic cooperation agreement with Australia to promote industrial development, National Development Council Minister Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫) said on Thursday (Dec. 7).

The Australia New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan presented a white paper to Kung on Thursday and gave a presentation that encouraged deeper collaboration among Australia, New Zealand, and Taiwan. The white paper advocated for a more proactive role in Taiwan's economic development and prosperity, with hopes of bringing forth greater opportunities for Taiwan.

In response, Taiwan, Australia, and New Zealand have always been significant economic and trade partners in the Asia-Pacific region, Kung said, per CNA. Last year, the total trade volume between Taiwan and the two antipodean nations reached US$34.08 billion (NT$1.07 trillion), marking a historic high, he said.

Australia has been an important supplier of energy and agricultural products to Taiwan, and both economies complement each other, the minister said. Since the signing of ANZTEC in 2013, bilateral trade has shown significant growth and vibrancy, he added.

Taiwan anticipates increased collaboration with Australia and New Zealand in energy, particularly in hydrogen energy development, Kung added.

Taiwan has signed trade agreements with the U.S. and the U.K. and completed negotiations for a foreign investment promotion and protection arrangement with Canada. This demonstrates its determination to further open up to the world, Kung said.

The Australia New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan said that Australia is an important supplier of agricultural products, minerals, and energy to Taiwan, while Taiwan's high-tech industry has a stable foothold in Australia. During the pandemic, the bilateral trade relationship continued to grow, it said.

The office added that as both countries move toward a zero-carbon future and with the increasing demand for hydrogen in the energy market, there will be new growth momentum in trade for Taiwan and Australia over the coming years.