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Europe-Taiwan ties dynamic, robust on many fronts: EETO

TAIPEI -- The European Union and Taiwan enjoy “a dynamic and robust relationship on multiple fronts,” the European Economic and Trade Office (EETO) in Taipei said.

In addition to strong economic ties, the EU and Taiwan also cooperate in many other fields, such as research and technology, nuclear safety, human rights dialogue and cultural exchanges, the office said in a statement upon publication of its 2014 fact file on its website.

The office highlighted trade in services between the two sides over the past decade, which has grown significantly from 3.8 billion euros (US$5.19 billion) in 2002 to 7.95 billion euros in 2012.

Taiwan's investment in the EU in 2013 also grew to US$169 million from US$71 million a year earlier, while the EU is Taiwan's largest foreign investor in the stock market, the statement said.

Despite the investment growth, EETO head Frederic Laplanche still urged more Taiwanese investment in the EU, as it is still one of the smaller Taiwanese investment destinations in comparison with countries like China, Vietnam and Australia. Taiwanese investment in the EU accounted for only 3.2 percent of its total overseas investment in 2013, according to the office.

“The economic potential can only be fully utilized with appropriate investment in the EU,” Laplanche was quoted as saying, noting that the EU has a market of 507 million customers with high purchasing power.

“Bilateral investment between the EU and Taiwan is essential to our economic cooperation and we wish to encourage further growth on this front,” he added.

In terms of trade rankings, Taiwan was the EU's 21st-largest trade partner, 17th-largest supplier and 23rd-largest export market in 2013, the statement said.

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