Premier Su Tseng-chang on Wednesday received a joint delegation of members from the Swedish-Taiwanese Parliamentarian Association and the European Parliament (EP). Trade between Taiwan and Sweden has continued to grow substantially during the COVID-19 pandemic, indicating boundless potential for further exchange in the future. The premier endorsed the prospect of Taiwan and Sweden signing a bilateral air service agreement, which would enable direct flights and open up benefits for both sides.
Premier Su noted that although Taiwan is geographically distant from Sweden and Europe, we all believe firmly in universal values of freedom, democracy and human rights, and thus share similar philosophies. The premier thanked the visiting delegates for raising Taiwan-related bills as well as speaking up and showing support for Taiwan many times in the Swedish and European parliaments. He expressed hope that they would continue to push for Taiwan's participation in international affairs in the future, enabling Taiwan to contribute more to the international community.
The premier pointed out that Boriana berg, chairperson of the Swedish-Taiwanese Parliamentarian Association, and other Taiwan-friendly Swedish lawmakers have long raised various proposals in the Swedish Parliament to advance Taiwan-Sweden friendship. In addition, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Charlie Weimers broached many important ideas that received the legislature's approval in a recent EP report recommending a substantive strengthening of EU-Taiwan relations.
The premier emphasized that even as the global economy and trade reeled under the strain of COVID-19, trade between Taiwan and Sweden saw significant growth, an indication that this trade relationship has unlimited development potential for the future. And since the annual value of the overseas tourism industry by Taiwanese travelers could reach NT$800 billion (US$27.5 billion), it is worth developing a niche travel and tourism market between Taiwan and Sweden, the premier said. If, therefore, Chairperson berg and her fellow visiting lawmakers can encourage the Swedish Parliament to sign an air service agreement to establish direct flights between Taiwan and Sweden, it would generate greater benefits to economic, trade and tourism development on both sides.
Members of this delegation included Chairperson berg; MEP Weimer, Deputy Speaker of the Swedish Parliament Kerstin Lundgren; Swedish lawmakers Bjrn Sder, Lars Adaktusson, Markus Wiechel, Ann-Sofie Alm, Lars Pss and Alexander Christiansson; and EP European Conservatives and Reformists Group Policy Advisor Elise Coolegem.