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Taiwan, EU to hold procurement meeting in Oct.

TAIPEI -- The Ministry of Economic Affairs said Thursday that it plans to host a second procurement meeting in cooperation with the European Union this year to capitalize on business opportunities amid Europe's economic recovery.

The second “Trade with the EU” meeting is slated to be held Oct. 3 in Taipei, with about 80 European buyers from the solar battery, mobile phone and computer component sectors invited to attend, the ministry said in a statement.

Most buyers are running businesses with annual revenue of more than US$50 million, while some from Eastern European countries are operating businesses with yearly revenue of over US$30 million, the ministry said.

The first meeting took place last October and attracted 30 European buyers, resulting in procurement orders worth more than US$80 million, according to the ministry.

Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Cho Shih-chao said the European debt crisis has created a shock to Taiwan's economy, evidenced by a 7.3 percent year-on-year decrease in the value of Taiwan-EU bilateral trade in 2012.

“It is my belief that, especially during difficult times like these, both sides should persist in efforts to revitalize bilateral trade and investment to meet the challenges,” he said at a luncheon organized by the European Economic and Trade Office (EETO) in Taipei.

Frederic Laplanche, head of the EETO, said at the luncheon that the European economy “is doing relatively well” compared with one year ago.

The EU has made progress in boosting its economy and will continue to reestablish confidence by improving its banking systems, Laplanche said.

“When the growth comes back, it will also bring back more trade with Taiwan and with the rest of the world,” he predicted.

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