MOEA: Taiwan-EU trade pact will create mutual benefits

Brussels in Belgium, the de facto capital of the European Union. (Image courtesy of AP)
Brussels in Belgium, the de facto capital of the European Union. (Image courtesy of AP)

by Ko Lin

Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin pointed out recently that should the push for an Economic Cooperation Agreement (ECA) with the European Union (EU) go through, bilateral trade between Taiwan and Germany could be boosted significantly, including the import/export of cars and machinery.

During the 15th Taiwan-Germany Joint Business Council meeting hosted by the Chinese International Economic Cooperation Association (CIECA) on Thursday, Shen said the government is seeking the possibility of a trade pact between the two nations under the framework of “Industry 4.0: Taiwan-Germany – Automation and Smart Manufacture.”

“Germany has been Taiwan’s largest trading partner in Europe for 35 years, where bilateral trade has multiplied five-fold during this period,” he said.

As the island’s ninth largest business partner, bilateral trade between the two reached US$15.5 billion in 2014, accounting for 30 percent of the nation’s total trade value.

The trade in goods between Taiwan and Germany consist of information and telecommunications appliances, machinery, cars, medical supplies, and chemical produce.

“Taiwan-made biotech, information technology products, machinery, and recyclable goods are especially well received in Germany,” Shen said.

Investments made by German businesses in Taiwan have also been on the rise, with total values of US$100 million and US$500 million in 2013 and 2014 respectively, according to MOEA.

“With the acquisition of German equipment manufacturer MAG Group by Taiwan’s Fair Friend Group (FFG) last month, the merged company will become one of the largest machine tool companies in the world.”

The Taiwan-EU agreement will help propel increased trade between the island and Germany, where export of Taiwan-made goods are forecasted to rise more than 50 percent, according to Shen.

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