Netherlands rep in Taiwan awarded economic professional medal

07/23/2020 10:54 PM
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Economics Minister Wang Mei-hua (left) and Netherlands representative Guy Wittich (Photo from the Facebook page of the Netherlands Office Taipei)
Economics Minister Wang Mei-hua (left) and Netherlands representative Guy Wittich (Photo from the Facebook page of the Netherlands Office Taipei)

Taipei, July 23 (CNA) Taiwan's Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) on Thursday awarded Guy Wittich, the outgoing head of the Netherlands' de facto embassy in Taiwan, the ministry's economic professional medal for his promotion of bilateral trade and investment exchanges between Taiwan and the Netherlands.

Wang said that Wittich, the head of Netherlands Office Taipei, is a good bridge between Taiwan and the Netherlands.

She praised Wittich, who first came to Taiwan over 30 years ago, for his fluent Mandarin and knowledge of Taiwan affairs.

Wang said that she began to work with Wittich over 10 years ago when he was chair of the European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan and she was director-general of the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office.

At that time, Wang said, she and Wittich often exchanged views on economic and trade issues.

As the Dutch representative in Taiwan, Wittich also brought about many exchanges and contributed to a closer bilateral relationship of trade and investment, according to Wang.

Wang said that she had visited the Dutch Pavilion at InnoVEX, a global startup-focused exhibition held at COMPUTEX TAIPEI where she witnessed the close exchanges between startups from Taiwan and the Netherlands.

She also thanked Wittich for leading several Dutch companies to participate in Taiwan's offshore wind power generation projects, saying she is looking forward to further cooperation between the two countries as they venture into the Asia Pacific market.

Speaking in Mandarin, Wittich thanked Wang for promoting economic cooperation across ministries.

He said his office has worked with the ministry's team to accomplish many projects in areas such as offshore wind energy and water management.

In recent years, Taiwan and the Netherlands have formed a strategic partnership in the semiconductor sector which plays an important role in the industry's constantly restructured value chain in Asia, Wittich said.

Wittich also said that from 1952 to June this year, the Netherlands has invested more than NT$1.456 trillion (about US$35.48 billion) in Taiwan, as the biggest foreign direct investor.

It is also the most important European destination for investment by Taiwanese companies. In addition, bilateral trade has doubled, and Taiwan has become the second-largest export destination for the Netherlands in Asia last year, showing a robust growth of bilateral exchanges in trade and investment, Wittich noted.

Wittich's term as head of the office, which was called the Netherlands Trade & Investment Office (NTIO) until April 2020, ends in August.

(By Wu Po-wei and Evelyn Kao)

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