A delegation from the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade is set to arrive in Taiwan today for a four-day visit that is to include discussions with government officials about Taiwan-EU bilateral trade and investment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said in a statement on Friday.
The 13-member delegation, led by committee vice chair Anna-Michelle Asimakopoulou, a European lawmaker from Greece, is scheduled to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and other senior officials from the National Development Council, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Office of Trade Negotiations under the Executive Yuan, the ministry said.
The international trade committee said that the delegation was also scheduled to meet with representatives of the semiconductor sector, trade unions, as well as environmental and women’s rights groups.
The group’s trip to Taiwan would be the third official visit from the European Parliament since last year, following parliament Vice President Nicola Beer in July and members of the Special Committee on Foreign Interference in November last year, the ministry said.
In a statement issued on Friday, Asimakopoulou said the visit would be “a reflection of the important role that Taiwan can play in some of the EU’s long-term priorities.”
“As members of the Committee on International Trade, we want to focus on how we can build on our existing trading relationship, and to discuss areas where we think we can boost investments across our respective jurisdictions,” she added.
The delegation and government officials would have in-depth discussions about bilateral trade and investment, including issues related to a bilateral investment agreement, the ministry said.
The government has repeatedly expressed an interest in signing a trade agreement with the EU, with Tsai saying at an investment forum in Taipei in October that such a pact would boost more investment in Taiwan and the EU by each other’s companies.
The European Parliament has also backed a bilateral trade agreement between Taiwan and the EU, with a report last year indicating the issue would be “a central feature of future cooperation” between the two sides.
In a resolution adopted in July, the European Parliament “repeats its call on the [European] Commission to begin an impact assessment, public consultation and scoping exercise on a bilateral investment agreement with Taiwan in preparation for negotiations to deepen bilateral economic ties.”
In addition to Asimakopoulou, the delegation includes European lawmakers Jorgen Warborn, Kathleen Van Brempt, Marie-Pierre Vedrenne, Karin Karlsbro, Michiel Hoogeveen and Reinhard Butikofer, as well as six senior staffers, MOFA said.
The series of visits to Taiwan by EU officials demonstrate the European Parliament’s support for and focus on Taiwan, MOFA said, adding that it looks forward to working with the EU and other partners to further their relationships.
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