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Taiwan, ECCT committed to joint green energy development

2018/05/17 22:49:33

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文, center) and European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan head Hakan Cervell (left)

Taipei, May 17 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan (ECCT) head Hakan Cervell celebrated bilateral ties on Thursday, vowing to continue working together in various fields, particularly the development of green energy.

Taiwan is currently preparing a four-year plan including long-term goals for wind turbine production, as well as the construction and maintenance of offshore wind farms, Tsai said. As such, she has been excited to learn that many world-leading firms from Europe have an interest in the development of wind power in Taiwan.

"These investments in renewable energy will be what I call a 'triple-win' scenario. They will benefit the company, the consumer, and just as importantly, the global environment," Tsai said at Europe Day Dinner, an event celebrating the 30th anniversary of the establishment of ECCT.

Cervell said ECCT supports Taiwan's commitment to the development of its targeted "five plus two" innovative industries, which refers to the Internet of Things, biotechnology, green energy, smart machinery and defense, plus high-value agriculture and the circular economy.

In particular, he said, progress made in the green energy sector over the past year to accelerate its development has been impressive.

"European companies in the wind energy industry are committed to developing Taiwan into a regional manufacturing and support hub for wind energy in Asia," Cervell said at the dinner.

However, he also said that there remain obstacles to reach the Taiwanese government's goal of 20 percent energy from renewable energy sources by 2025.

The challenges include the construction of supporting infrastructure such as electricity grids and harbors, streamlining the permit process, as well as resolving financial issues in line with international standards, according to Cervell.

He stressed that the localization of the supply chain should be undertaken gradually to meet green energy targets in time and ensure quality.

Looking further afield, Cervell said the two sides could work more on creating smart cities, while he also urged the government to put the right infrastructure in place, such as 5G telecommunications, electric vehicle charging stations and smart grids.

Moreover, he said, the regulatory environment must also be flexible enough to allow technological innovation and new business models.

Cervell noted that ECCT supports making English the second official language of Taiwan, as the Ministry of Education currently studies the feasibility of such a policy.

He said that as English is the global language of business, diplomacy and international organizations, English as an official language would make Taiwan more attractive to international investors and give the nation better access to the world.

Tsai and Cervell also called for a Bilateral Investment Agreement between the European Union and Taiwan, stressing that such an agreement would address remaining bilateral trade and investment barriers, leading to economic growth and job opportunities for both sides.

(By Lee Hsin-Yin)