President Tsai Ing-wen met on the morning of August 3 with a delegation of parliamentarians from the United Kingdom. She expressed hope that Taiwan and the UK will sign a bilateral free trade agreement or a bilateral investment agreement, benefiting economic development in both countries
In her remarks, President Tsai said that she was pleased to welcome the visiting delegation to Taiwan so soon after the UK Parliament's general election this past June.
The president stated that over the past year, many high-level officials and prominent politicians from Taiwan and the UK had exchanged visits. We have hosted many delegations of parliamentarians from the UK, while various Taiwan legislators, ministers and other senior officials, as well as the mayors of Kaohsiung and Taoyuan, have all traveled to the UK. These exchanges, the president said, addressing issues such as industrial development and city governance, have laid a firm foundation for future Taiwan-UK cooperation.
President Tsai noted that the Taiwan government is currently promoting a "5+2 industrial innovation program" that includes green energy technology, an Asia Silicon Valley program, the national defense industry, smart machinery, and the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, plus the circular economy and new agriculture. Through the Taiwan-UK Renewable Energy Roundtable Meeting, we hope to promote cooperation in the field of green energy, she stated.
The president specially mentioned that the Taiwan government will make every effort to remove investment barriers for offshore wind power generation. She also welcomed UK firms to participate in Taiwan's offshore wind power projects, so that we can penetrate the global energy market together.
President Tsai stressed that the UK is Taiwan's third-largest trading partner in Europe, while Taiwan is the UK's eighth-largest in the Asia-Pacific region. She believed that after the UK exits the European Union, the signing of a Taiwan-UK free trade agreement or a bilateral investment agreement would benefit economic development in both countries. She then expressed hope that the visitors will support efforts in this regard.
The president stated that among all the countries of Europe, the UK has long been a leader in developing bilateral relations with Taiwan. She said that Vice Chair of the British-Taiwanese All-Party Parliamentary Group Andrew Rosindell, leader of the visiting delegation, is an old friend of Taiwan, and has promoted UK-Taiwan ties for many years. President Tsai took the opportunity to thank Mr. Rosindell.
The president said that most of the delegation members were visiting Taiwan for the first time and that she looked forward to interacting with them more frequently, and working with them to benefit mutual development of Taiwan and the UK.
The visiting delegation led by Vice Chair Rosindell also included House of Lords Member Baroness Ludford and House of Commons Members Sara Champion, James Cleverly, Ian Murray, Paul Scully, Paula Sherriff, and Martin Vickers.