On the morning of August 9, President Tsai Ing-wen met with Hans van Baalen, Member of the European Parliament and President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party, along with his wife and son. President Tsai thanked President van Baalen for his long-term support for Taiwan, and also expressed hope that he will back the signing of a bilateral investment agreement between Taiwan and the European Union (EU) to upgrade the bilateral economic and trade partnership.
President Tsai opened her remarks by welcoming President van Baalen, a good friend from the Netherlands, back to Taiwan. President van Baalen made his previous visit to attend President Tsai's inauguration ceremony, while this time he will visit places all around Taiwan. President Tsai said that since President van Baalen knows Taiwan well, she is sure that his interactions on this trip will give him a good feel for how much Taiwan has progressed and changed.
Over the past two years, President Tsai stated, her administration has been promoting a "5+2 industrial innovation program" to transform and upgrade Taiwan's industrial sector. That includes developing green energy technology and the Internet of Things, creating new opportunities for Taiwan-EU industrial cooperation.
President Tsai pointed out that the EU has long been Taiwan's largest source of foreign investment, so she expressed hope that President van Baalen will support the signing of a bilateral investment agreement between Taiwan and the EU to upgrade our economic and trade partnership.
Commenting on Taiwan-Netherlands relations, President Tsai stated that over the past few years, the two countries have interacted more frequently. In addition to establishing a regular dialogue mechanism, she said, in the future we would also like to expand reciprocal visits and exchanges. We also hope to sign a mutual assistance agreement for customs issues, and a youth working holiday agreement as soon as possible. These are important initiatives that will create win-win situations, and we really need President van Baalen's help to achieve those goals, she said.
President Tsai then thanked President van Baalen for his long-term support for Taiwan, and mentioned that she just met with Liberal International President Juli Minoves Triquell last month. As a former Liberal International president, and now as president of honour, she said, President van Baalen has always showed concern for Taiwan's international participation, and inspired more international friends to support Taiwan.
President Tsai expressed hope that President van Baalen will continue to speak up for Taiwan in international venues. His friendship, President Tsai said, is important to help deepen Taiwan's relationships with the Netherlands and the EU. "So let's continue to work together for progress, and promote more cooperative exchanges," she stated.
In closing, President Tsai once again welcomed President van Baalen and his family to Taiwan, and wished them a smooth, successful, and enjoyable trip.