On the morning of September 25, President Tsai Ing-wen met with Lord Faulkner of Worcester, the United Kingdom's Trade Envoy to Taiwan and Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords. In remarks, President Tsai thanked Lord Faulkner for his efforts in deepening the Taiwan-UK partnership and for his long-term attention to Taiwan's security, stability, and international participation. President Tsai stated that Taiwan and the UK share the values of democracy and freedom. She said that Taiwan and the UK started official talks on the Taiwan-UK Enhanced Trade Partnership in July, focusing on the key areas of investment, energy and net-zero emissions, and digital trade, adding that there is much room for cooperation in such areas as trade and energy. She also expressed hope that we can jointly contribute to global fair trade and supply chain resilience.
A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:
Lord Faulkner visited Taiwan five years ago. I am delighted to see our close friend from the UK again today and would like to extend to him a very warm welcome.
Over the past five years, Taiwan and the UK have continued to deepen cooperation across multiple areas. In particular, we have both actively developed renewable energy, such as wind power. So far, over 250 offshore wind turbines have been installed along Taiwan's coast. We look forward to further exchanges with the UK on energy issues.
After the Taiwan-UK Energy Dialogue this June, we are very pleased that Lord Faulkner is leading a group of 10 renewable energy companies to attend the Taiwan-UK Renewable Energy Roundtable Meeting and the Taiwan-UK Net-Zero Academic Research Forum.
Cooperation on trade and investment is also an important component of the Taiwan-UK partnership. With the active support of Lord Faulkner, official talks on the Taiwan-UK Enhanced Trade Partnership started in July, focusing on the key areas of investment, energy and net-zero emissions, and digital trade.
In addition, let me congratulate the UK for signing the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership in July and for soon becoming a formal member. We hope that the UK will support Taiwan's accession bid, so that we can jointly contribute to global fair trade and supply chain resilience.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank the UK government for publicly supporting Taiwan's participation in the World Health Assembly for the third year running. We also appreciate the Integrated Review Refresh 2023 released in March, as well as the review of the Indo-Pacific Tilt policy published by the UK Parliament in August. Both reports underline the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. I believe this is significant in maintaining global peace and stability.
Taiwan and the UK, sharing the values of democracy and freedom, have much room for cooperation in such areas as trade and energy. I thank Lord Faulkner for his efforts in deepening the Taiwan-UK partnership and for his long-term attention to Taiwan's security, stability, and international participation. I wish Lord Faulkner an enjoyable and rewarding visit.
A transcript of Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords Lord Faulkner's remarks follows:
President Tsai, thank you very much for your warm welcome. I'm grateful to you and your team for taking time out of your busy schedule to meet me and my colleagues from the British Office. As you said, Madam President, five years have passed since the last time I visited Taiwan, as the prime minister's trade envoy.
Many visits were undertaken by me before then, because I have taken an interest in British-Taiwanese relations almost the whole time that I have been a member of the British Parliament. I celebrate my 25th anniversary as a member of the House of Lords next year.
I will recall a very productive conversation in 2018 where we shared thoughts on strengthening our trade and investment relationship, as well as cooperation on renewable energy and offshore wind.
While the global pandemic made it difficult for travel and in-person exchanges to take place, I'm pleased to say that trading cooperation between the UK and Taiwan has shown no signs of slowing down. And whilst I was not able to visit Taiwan during the past five years, I met many Taiwanese investors in the UK during this time, and was able to participate in numerous events in Taiwan virtually, including our annual trade talks, and meet visitors from Taiwan to the UK. For example, Minister [Audrey] Tang (唐鳳) at London Tech Week and a delegation from the Bureau of Energy.
The value of our bilateral trade has continued to grow healthily, even during the height of the pandemic, with its value reaching 8.6 billion pounds last year. This reflects the continued importance of Taiwan as a trading partner to the UK and to the world, as well as growing global recognition of Taiwan's importance to global supply chains, most notably on semiconductors and technology. And we have agreed to broaden and deepen our trade relationship further still, to take advantage of the significant opportunities ahead. The announcement of talks towards the new Enhanced Trade Partnership will support these efforts.
To support trade and investment, there is also plenty more we could do together on net zero and energy transition and science and technology cooperation. The UK is already a major partner to Taiwan in its green energy transition, with more than 40 British companies in the offshore wind sector with a presence in Taiwan. And in addition to our longstanding renewable energy partnerships, we are also seeing new opportunities, for example, the UK's first pavilion at SEMICON Taiwan earlier this month. So, Madam President, it is an absolute pleasure to be back in Taiwan again, to take stock of the progress we're making, and to have further exchanges on how we can boost cooperation on trade and investment, net zero and energy, and science and technology.
And if I may be allowed to depart a little bit from my script as trade envoy, I'd like to speak to you as a British parliamentarian and to say how very much the reputation of Taiwan in the British Parliament has been enhanced and improved during your time as president. Your office in London works really hard with British members of parliament in both houses. And the understanding of Taiwan and its position in the world is now much greater now than it was five or 10 years ago. And they should be congratulated. But above all the congratulations go to you, as the guardian of parliamentary democracy and human rights in Taiwan. President Tsai, thank you again, and I look forward to our discussion.
The delegation was accompanied to the Presidential Office by British Office Taipei Representative John Dennis.