On the morning of May 19, President Tsai Ing-wen met with a European Parliament delegation led by MEP Anna Fotyga, Chair of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. In addition to thanking the European Parliament for its long-term support for Taiwan's meaningful participation in international organizations, the president stressed that Taiwan can be a reliable partner of the international community in many different areas, including public health, climate change, humanitarian aid, and cooperation in the fight against terrorism and transnational crime.
In remarks, President Tsai noted that the European Parliament has adopted a number of resolutions over the years in support of Taiwan's meaningful participation in international organizations. "The people of Taiwan are keenly aware of these friendly gestures," said the president, who, speaking on behalf of the government and people of Taiwan, expressed deep gratitude for the European Parliament's friendship and support.
The president emphasized that political interference will not thwart Taiwan's determination to participate in international organizations and contribute more on global issues. In such areas as public health, climate change, humanitarian aid, and cooperation in the fight against terrorism and transnational crime, Taiwan can be a reliable partner of the international community. Taiwan's ability to make greater contributions to the international community, said the president, "comes not only from our experience with democracy, but also from our economic strength."
President Tsai stated that there is potential for the development of much more economic and trade cooperation between Taiwan and the European Union. Over the past year, the government has actively promoted the "5+2 industrial innovation program," under which the government has identified the Internet of Things, the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, green energy, smart machinery, the national defense industry, new agriculture, and the circular economy as key focal points of economic development efforts. Countries in the European Union have a lot of experience in the development of industries of this sort, which have excellent future prospects and also satisfy sustainability concerns. The president expressed hope that the two sides can together create more achievements in economic and trade areas by engaging in policy exchanges as well as R&D and industrial cooperation.
President Tsai pointed out that the European Parliament has played a key role in enhancing economic and trade relations between Taiwan and the European Union. She thanked the European Parliament for its support, and stressed that Taiwan will continue calling for commencement of negotiations on an investment agreement as soon as possible in order to attract more European companies to enter the Taiwan market, and also to encourage Taiwanese firms to invest in Europe, so that both sides can benefit.
Also included in the delegation was Mr. Wojciech Danecki, Head of Unit for Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Security & Defence in the European Parliament's European Conservatives and Reformists Group.