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EU gears up for talks on investment pact with Taiwan

2017/09/20 18:15:02

CNA file photo

Brussels, Sept. 19 (CNA) There have been signs of progress in trade relations between the European Union (EU) and Taiwan, with an EU official saying Tuesday that the EU has formed a task force to evaluate and conduct exchanges with Taiwan.

The European Commission -- the executive arm of the EU -- recently released a report titled "The EU Trade Policy Review," which states that the EU plans to expand its relations with Taiwan and is prepared to start negotiations with the country on investment.

The official said that the task force will talk with Taiwan on their respective investment policies and evaluate the opportunities and challenges after an EU-Taiwan investment agreement is signed.

Only after a thorough assessment has been completed will a request for authorization to negotiate be submitted to the Council of the European Union, the official said.

According to the EU Trade Policy Review, the EU will further expand its two-way trade relations with other countries and is optimistic that Asia and Latin America can be the engines for future growth.

In terms of Asia, the EU particularly mentioned that it is prepared to embark on investment negotiations with Taiwan and Hong Kong, according to the policy report.

In 2015, the European Commission expressed its intention to negotiate with Taiwan on investment in its blueprint report for future trade and economic strategy.

After two years of preparation, the EU is moving toward the next step.

As the EU is Taiwan's fifth-largest trade partner and the largest source of foreign investment, Taiwan has high hopes of starting talks on a Taiwan-EU investment agreement.

Minister without Portfolio John Deng (鄧振中) solicited support for inking a Taiwan-EU bilateral investment agreement while meeting in June with members of the European Parliament during a visit to Europe at the head of a Taiwanese economic and trade delegation.

(By Tang Pei-chun and Evelyn Kao)