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Premier praises major advances in cooperative European ties

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Premier Su Tseng-chang received a briefing on Thursday by the National Development Council (NDC) on the results of the recent cross-agency trade delegation's trip to Central and East European countries. The premier said that the delegation reached agreements on 15 official cooperation projects, signed 18 memorandums of understanding (MOUs) for industry-academia cooperation, and discussed 23 substantive cooperation projects ranging from the automotive industry and chip design to tourism and financial technology (FinTech). These achievements marked a major advance in Taiwan's economic and trade relations with Central and Eastern Europe.

The premier also said that during the nine-day trip led by NDC Minister Kung Ming-hsin, delegation members from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Health and Welfare visited Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Lithuania. When the COVID-19 pandemic was at its height, Taiwan and those countries provided mutual assistance through donations of face masks and vaccines, exemplifying a virtuous cycle among democratic partners, and a cherished feeling of friendship by joining forces to fight the pandemic. This trade delegation, the premier said, allowed all parties to extend substantive exchanges on multiple levels and develop closer ties.

The delegation participated in both formal, official exchanges as well as private sector meetings of all kinds, almost 60 events in all. The premier also noted that Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Lithuania all focus on different industries, with potential for cooperation with Taiwan in different areas. Agreements were reached on 15 official cooperation projects including areas important to all three countries such as semiconductor industry personnel training and supply chain development and planning; quantum and space satellite technology exchanges; as well as cooperation in economics and trade, taxation and finance.

Eighteen industrial-academic cooperative MOUs were also signed, while the delegation's business representatives, industry associations and research institutes discussed 23 specific cooperation items ranging from the automotive industry and chip design to tourism and FinTech, with a deep and extensive scope of cooperation.

While these European countries continue to incur unreasonable suppression and threats from China for their active friendship with Taiwan, they still support Taiwan with firm and unwavering conviction. Premier Su expressed his gratitude and admiration for their actions, such as Lithuania's broad support for the Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania, which formally opened on November 18.

Taiwan has made great strides in its relations with Europe, and our economic strategic dialogues with the U.S. at the highest level have also achieved significant results, Premier Su continued. During the second Taiwan-U.S. Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue on Tuesday, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua and Minister of Science and Technology Wu Tsung-tsong represented Taiwan while Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Jose W. Fernandez represented the U.S., with both sides demonstrating continued commitment to deeper cooperation on supply chain resilience, responses to economic coercion, the digital economy and cybersecurity. The two sides also reached an agreement to hold the fourth Taiwan-U.S. Digital Economy Forum and the first Taiwan-U.S. bilateral science and technology conference in 2022.

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