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British official anticipates more Taiwan-U.K. cooperation

2012/05/12 15:17:15

Taipei, May 12 (CNA) Taiwan and the United Kingdom have been friends for many years and it is the time to strengthen bilateral ties through cooperation, a visiting British minister said.

U.K. Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport Mike Penning, visiting Taiwan for the first time, told CNA in an interview Friday that his visit was aimed at furthering cooperation and producing mutual benefits for the two countries.

"This isn't just a one-way thing," he said. "We can work together, and we need to do partnerships."

Citing a memorandum of understanding signed May 10 among Britain's Ultra Global Ltd., Sinclair Knight Merz Colin Buchanan and Taiwan's China Engineering Consultants Inc., Penning said it was a good start for future cooperation on personal rapid transit systems in Taiwan.

The two countries can also devote themselves more to research and development, especially in the fields of software programming and electronics manufacturing, he added.

Regarding the fact that London is going to host the 2012 Olympic Games in less than 100 days and Taiwan is hosting an Olympic-like sporting event in 2017, Penning said one of the main reasons for his visit is to "make sure that we can help you from our own experience."

Besides readiness and budget management, delivering a legacy to the people and being fair with the locals are also important, he noted.

Penning noted that there is very high security in London at the moment, including a large warship in the River Thames in the center of the capital and security helicopters flying in the sky. He said this "might put off some people, but we'll survive."

Penning is scheduled to wrap up his four-day stay in Taiwan after visiting the Kaohsiung-based Taiwan International Ports Cooperation and Kaohsiung Port on Saturday. He is scheduled to leave for South Korea the next day.

The last time a high-ranking British official came to Taiwan was in November 2011, when Trade and Investment Minister Lord Stephen Green made a visit to further bilateral trade and investment links.

(By James Lee)