INTERVIEW/Poland sees potential in cooperation with Taiwan: top envoy

09/14/2021 07:19 PM
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Bartosz Ryś, acting chief of the Polish Office in Taipei. Photo courtesy of the Polish Office in Taipei
Bartosz Ryś, acting chief of the Polish Office in Taipei. Photo courtesy of the Polish Office in Taipei

Taipei, Sep. 14 (CNA) Poland sees considerable potential in strengthening cooperation with Taiwan, especially in the fields of trade and technology, Poland's top envoy in Taiwan told CNA in a recent interview.

"Taiwan is an attractive trade partner for Poland and, I believe, for other countries in Central and Eastern Europe," said Bartosz Ryś, acting chief of the Polish Office in Taipei.

According to Ryś, Poland could be a great fit for Taiwanese companies looking to relocate their manufacturing or business operations to Europe due to its strategic location, good infrastructure, large domestic market, strong consumption, and highly skilled workers.

The potential for cooperation between Poland and Taiwan on electric vehicles could be particularly fruitful, he said.

"Poland is the biggest supplier of lithium-ion car batteries or their components in Europe. Overall, the prospects for cooperation between Polish and Taiwanese companies in the EV industry look very promising."

Ryś also suggested that Taiwanese companies can participate in the Three Seas Initiative and Three Seas Initiative Investment Fund to strengthen its cooperation with countries bordering the Adriatic, the Baltic and the Black Sea in the development of infrastructure in the energy, transport, and digital sectors.

According to Ryś, the initiative welcomes countries and enterprises which share the same basic values and principles to participate in specific projects.

The acting representative also sees potential for Polish products in the Taiwan market, ranging from beverages to chocolates, cosmetics to ceramics.

"Taiwanese consumers have shown great interest in Polish products and we are also receiving more queries from Polish companies on doing business in Taiwan," Ryś said.

"I hope this growing mutual interest will result in new trade opportunities and ultimately more Polish products being available in Taiwan," he said.

Meanwhile, in the areas of education and people-to-people exchanges, Ryś noted that currently more than 1,000 Taiwanese students are enrolled at Polish universities.

In addition, as many as 1,000 Taiwanese doctors who graduated from Polish medical universities have been on the frontline of fighting the pandemic in Taiwan, he said.

Poles are also more aware of Taiwan's rich culture and beautiful landscapes than they were several years ago, when most Poles primarily saw Taiwan as a manufacturer of computer and consumer electronic products, he added.

During the interview, the de facto Polish ambassador to Taiwan also announced that Poland will be the Guest of Honor at the Taipei International Book Exhibition in 2023.

"This will be a great opportunity to delve into Polish culture and literature and hopefully meet Polish writers in person," Ryś said. "We also expect a high-level delegation from Poland at the opening ceremony."

Speaking on Poland's recent donation of COVID-19 vaccine shots to Taiwan, Ryś said the donation "reflects our solidarity and desire to help those in need."

A shipment of 400,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine donated by Poland arrived in Taiwan on Sept. 5, making the European nation Taiwan's third-largest vaccine donor after Japan and the United States.

"I personally hope our donation will help Taiwan speed up the vaccination rollout" and ensure more people are protected against the pandemic, he said.

(By Chung Yu-chen and Emerson Lim)

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