High-level delegation in Europe, seeks boost to bilateral investment
CNABRUSSELS -- A high-level business delegation has arrived in Europe as part of Taiwan's effort to strengthen bilateral trade and investment with countries in the region.
September 24, 2013, 12:17 am TWN
The group of 16 business leaders arrived in Amsterdam late Saturday and on Monday will begin their week-long visit to Belgium, Germany and France in what is described as Taiwan's most important economic delegation to Europe since the Euro crisis began in late 2009.
The group is led by Kenneth C. M. Lo, chairman of the Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce, Taiwan (CNAIC), with former Vice President Vincent Siew lending clout to the group as its honorary leader.
Members of the group will begin their official schedule Monday morning by holding breakfast talks with officials of Belgium's Flemish region and with Markus J. Beyrer, director general of BusinessEurope, later in the day.
Based in Brussels, BusinessEurope is a grouping of 41 leading national business organizations in 35 European countries. It has more than 20 million member companies of various sizes.
During their talks, members of the Taiwan delegation will explore opportunities to increase two-way trade and investment. They are also expected to call on European business leaders and officials to re-examine Europe's trade and economic relations with Taiwan with the goal of reaching an agreement on economic cooperation.
Companies represented in the delegation include Chia Shin Cement Corp., bicycle manufacturer Giant, financial firm Taishin Holdings and Panasonic Taiwan.
Taiwan was the European Union's 23rd largest trading partner in 2012, with bilateral trade volume reaching 38.3 billion euros (US$51.8 billion), down 5.2 percent from the previous year due to the global economic slowdown, according to the European Economic and Trade Office (EETO) in Taipei.
Taiwan enjoyed a trade surplus of 6.7 billion euros last year.
Europe has been the biggest source of Taiwan's foreign direct investment (FDI) in recent years, with US$1.7 billion invested in 2012, or 31 percent of the total FDI for the year.
A similar delegation, also headed by Siew, will visit the United States later this year.