President Tsai Ing-wen met with a delegation led by European Parliament-Taiwan Friendship Group Chair Michael Gahler on the afternoon of October 29. She thanked Chair Gahler for leading the Chairs of the French, British, and German Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Groups to establish the inter-parliamentary Formosa Club, and for holding a reception on October 16 at the European Parliament to celebrate its establishment. The president expressed hope that her guests will continue to support the signing of a bilateral investment agreement between Taiwan and the EU, so that we can continue to bolster our bilateral economic and trade partnership.
Before President Tsai gave her remarks, Chair Gahler presented her with a plaque commemorating the establishment of the Formosa Club, signed by its founding members. Chair Gahler stated that it was an honor to present this plaque to President Tsai on behalf of the Formosa Club members, and that it also serves as the club's founding document. The Formosa Club brings together the European, German, French, and British Parliamentary Friendship Groups in Brussels, so that they can raise awareness for Taiwan, and promote relations with Taiwan. He also expressed hope that it would make Taiwan's issues more visible in European politics.
Following is a translation of President Tsai's remarks:
It is a pleasure to welcome Chair Gahler as he leads a delegation of Parliamentarians to Taiwan so soon after the constitution of the ninth European Parliament. Except for Chair Gahler, you are all visiting Taiwan for the first time. I hope your time here will help you get to know and understand Taiwan better.
Over the past three years, ties between Taiwan and the EU and like-minded European countries have grown considerably. We have reached record highs in bilateral trade and investment, and support from the European Parliament and like-minded European countries continues to grow stronger.
I want to specially thank Chair Gahler for leading the Chairs of the French, British, and German Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Groups to establish the inter-parliamentary Formosa Club. On October 16, a reception was held at the European Parliament to celebrate its establishment.
I want to thank Chair Gahler for presenting me with this jointly signed commemorative plaque on behalf of the members of the Formosa Club. This gift signifies our lasting friendship. On behalf of the people of Taiwan, I also want to thank our friends in the European, German, French, and British Parliaments for their staunch support.
Over the past three years, we have been actively promoting energy transition, and many European firms have invested in our offshore wind industry. Our developmental direction aligns well with the EU's Europe-Asia Connectivity Strategy.
We are also gradually seeing results from our New Southbound Policy, and we hope that Taiwanese and EU firms can work together to jointly develop Southeast Asia's renewable energy market. I hope that all of you will continue to support the signing of a bilateral investment agreement between Taiwan and the EU, so that we can continue to bolster our economic and trade partnership.
I trust that with your support, Taiwan-EU relations will steadily grow stronger. Finally, I want to wish you all a smooth and successful visit. Thank you.
Also in the delegation were Members of the European Parliament Brando Benifei (Italy), Bert-Jan Ruissen (Netherlands), Engin Eroglu (Germany), Ralf Seekatz (Germany), and Emmanouil Fragkos (Greece).