During a meeting with a delegation from the Dutch Parliament and think tanks on the morning of October 24, President Tsai Ing-wen explained that in recent years, Taiwan has actively sought to sign a bilateral investment agreement (BIA) with the European Union, which will help safeguard the interests of Dutch businesses. She expressed hope that the delegation members will urge the Dutch government to lend us its fullest possible support. We look forward to even more cooperation and exchange with the Netherlands on matters of information security and geopolitics in the years ahead, said the president.
A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:
Earlier this month, the Netherlands House of Representatives demonstrated its support for Taiwan. It passed—by an overwhelming majority—a motion urging the Dutch government to support our international participation. Today, I am pleased to meet with Mr. Henk Krol, Member of the House of Representatives, and the other delegation members, and express Taiwan's gratitude in person. I extend a warm welcome to you all.
This is Mr. Krol's first visit to Taiwan. Last year, Taiwan became home to one more world-famous attraction, the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying), the world's largest single-roof venue of its kind. This achievement came about thanks to cooperation between a team of Taiwanese and Dutch architects.
Over the past three years, Taiwan-Netherlands cooperation has been consistently generating results. In addition to establishing a mechanism for vice ministerial-level dialogue on economic affairs, this year we have signed a customs mutual assistance agreement and an MOU on science and technology cooperation. All of this has established an excellent foundation as we continue to deepen our partnership.
The Netherlands is not only a big supporter of Taiwan's international participation; it is also the number one investor in Taiwan. At the Taiwan Business Alliance Conference earlier this month, 13 foreign businesses signed letters of intent to invest in Taiwan. Three of these were Dutch.
Dutch manufacturers trust Taiwan, and we hope we provide them with better protections. Therefore, in recent years, Taiwan has actively sought to sign a BIA with the European Union. Signing a BIA would help safeguard the interests of Dutch businesses. Through the channels available to you in the Dutch parliament and at Dutch think tanks, we hope all of you will urge the Dutch government, as a member of the EU, to lend us its fullest possible support.
Taiwan stands at the heart of the frontline of democracy in the Indo-Pacific. We uphold democratic values, and in recent years have worked with like-minded nations to counter the threat of disinformation. We hope that through your visit, Taiwan and the Netherlands can look forward to even more cooperation and exchanges on matters of information security and geopolitics in the years ahead. Finally, I wish you all a pleasant and fruitful stay.
Also present at the meeting were Dutch Senator Martine Baay-Timmerman; Han ten Broeke, Director of Political Affairs of the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies; René Cuperus, Senior Associate Fellow at the Netherlands Institute of International Relations; and Guy Wittich, Representative of the Netherlands Trade and Investment Office.