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TRADE DEALS/Taiwan signs trade partnership with the U.K.

11/08/2023 10:14 PM
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John Dennis (left), head of the British Office Taipei and Kelly Hsieh, the Taiwan's Representative to the United Kingdom show the newly signed Enhanced Trade Partnership in Taipei and London, respectively, on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Executive Yuan Nov. 8, 2023
John Dennis (left), head of the British Office Taipei and Kelly Hsieh, the Taiwan's Representative to the United Kingdom show the newly signed Enhanced Trade Partnership in Taipei and London, respectively, on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Executive Yuan Nov. 8, 2023

Taipei, Nov. 8 (CNA) Taiwan and the United Kingdom signed an agreement on Wednesday to enhance their trade partnership, with bilateral talks focusing on investment, digital trade, and renewable energy set to follow.

The Executive Yuan's Office of Trade Negotiations announced on Wednesday that Kelly Hsieh (謝武樵), the head of Taiwan's representative office in London, and John Dennis, head of the British Office Taipei, had signed the Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) via a teleconference.

The future trade talks between the two will focus on digital trade, investment, renewable energy and net-zero technology, as well as other shared topics of interest.

The office noted that bilateral trade in 2022 totaled US$6.64 billion, a 1.73 percent rise from 2021, and that the U.K. is Taiwan's 21st largest trade partner overall and the third largest in Europe.

The two countries are complementary partners in the semiconductor industry, the office said, adding that the U.K. is a leader in IC design in terms of semiconductor intellectual property, for example, the technology pioneered by Arm, a company headquartered in Cambridge, is used in 90 percent of the world's mobile devices, 65 percent of inter-network processors and 40 percent of car electrics.

Taiwan, on the other hand, leads in IC design, IC foundry, and testing and packaging, with its market share at 22 percent, 63 percent (advanced processes at 90 percent), and 58 percent, respectively.

Further collaboration on digital technology can be expected between Taiwan and the U.K., as Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, high-speed communication, and quantum applications all heavily rely on advanced chips, the office said.

In terms of investment, Taiwan invested US$3.3 billion in the U.K. from 1952-2022, 24.79 percent of the total it invested in Europe during that time and second only to the amount invested in the Netherlands.

During that period, the U.K.'s investment in Taiwan was about US$11.56 billion, making the country the second largest European investor and accounting for 17.04 percent of the total invested by businesses on the continent, behind only the Netherlands.

Taiwanese officials and John Dennis, head of the British Office Taipei, pose for a photo at the signing ceremony in Taipei Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Executive Yuan Nov. 8, 2023
Taiwanese officials and John Dennis, head of the British Office Taipei, pose for a photo at the signing ceremony in Taipei Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Executive Yuan Nov. 8, 2023

Taiwan's top trade negotiator John Deng (鄧振中) noted that the U.K. is the world's sixth-largest economy and a major global economic and political power that leads in biotechnology, automobiles, energy, Artificial Intelligence, and finance and is, therefore, a highly complementary partner for Taiwan.

Deng added that the U.K. is taking the initiative to establish economic and trade relationships with numerous Indo-Pacific countries and that the agreement signed on Wednesday is a positive sign and has the potential to boost other countries' confidence in doing business with Taiwan.

The trade negotiator stressed that the agreement is Taiwan's first enhanced economic and trade framework with a European country and he expects it to be a precursor to other trade relationships built in the region.

Furthermore, the U.K. will soon join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), meaning Taiwan's relationship with the country could assist with its own bid to join, he added.

(By Lai Yu-chen and Alison Hsiao)

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