Last night (16th October) a reception was held at the European Parliament to celebrate the inauguration of the Formosa Club – an international body to co-ordinate and strengthen the many parliamentary friendship organisations that promote relations with Taiwan.
The name of the Club comes from the name given by Portuguese traders to the island of Taiwan in the 16th century “Ihla Formosa”, which underlines the excellent relations enjoyed by Taiwan with Europe over many years.
The club will promote the exchange of ideas and cross-border support for EU-Taiwan relations, and the common values shared in respect of freedom, democracy, the rue of law and respect of human rights that have historically underpinned bilateral relations.
Speaking at the reception, Kelly WU Chiao Hsieh the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs for the Republic of China (Taiwan) said, “As like minded partners bound by shared values, the EU and Taiwan enjoy a robust trading partnership. in 2018 the EU was Taiwan’s fifth largest trading partner, and Taiwan was the EU’s 15th largest trading partner. European investment in Taiwan has leapt over the past three years, increasing by 51 % to reach a record high of US$ 51.5 bn per annum to date. Much of this growth has been in the renewable energy sector – a focus of the Taiwan Government’s Five Plus Two Industrial Innovation Programme. In particular Taiwan has been working to develop offshore wind energy with several European countries including Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands.”
The Chairman of the European Parliament Taiwan Friendship Group Michael Gahler MEP participated in the event, as did many distinguished representatives of national parliamentary friendship groups from different European Member States, underlining the strength and depth of the support that Taiwan enjoys in Europe as a frontline democracy in Asia.