Premier Chen Chien-jen on Monday delivered a speech at the opening ceremony of the 2023 European Innovation Week, a series of seminars and networking activities bringing together Taiwanese and European companies, clusters and institutes. The premier expressed his appreciation to the European Commission for helping to organize the event's delegations and the face-to-face engagements with representatives from Taiwanese industry, government and academia, so soon after the COVID-19 pandemic. European Innovation Week serves as a crucial platform to showcase collaborative achievements of industrial and technological innovation between Taiwan and the EU, while also presenting an excellent opportunity to enhance and further cooperation.
The premier gave special thanks to the European Parliament, as well as officials and parliaments of EU member states, for standing with democratic Taiwan. He said these commitments and support are of paramount importance for the peace and continued prosperity of Taiwan and the region, and he sincerely hopes for continued cooperation with like-minded partners such as the EU in various fields, particularly in critical strategic industries. This collaboration is not only crucial to ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region, but also important to smooth the operation of global supply chains.
In recent years, trade and investment between the EU and Taiwan has been deepening, with total trade volume reaching a record high in 2022. The EU is Taiwan's fourth-largest trading partner and there has been significant trade growth in a number of sectors including semiconductors, automobiles, pharmaceuticals, information and communications technology, and machinery equipment, the premier said. Moreover, Taiwan and the EU's bilateral supply chains are closely connected and the EU is Taiwan's largest foreign investor, contributing substantially to Taiwan's employment and economic growth. Taiwan's renewable electricity generation and related industries have been growing steadily thanks to substantial investments by European companies, particularly in the area of offshore wind energy.
The premier added that Taiwan and the EU's green and digital transition policies are also highly compatible. To enhance industrial competitiveness and sustainable development, Taiwan continues to promote its Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program and Six Core Strategic Industries plan. Taiwan looks forward to strengthening cooperation with the EU in the relevant fields to drive the transition to net zero and increase digital technology skills.