Taiwan calls on EU to push for bilateral investment agreement

Taipei, Vice Economics Minister Wang Mei-hua (???) has called on the European Union (EU) to pursue the signing of a bilateral investment agreement (BIA) with Taiwan as soon as possible to create a favorable investment environment for both sides.

Wang, who was in Brussels for the 30th Trade Consultation Meeting between Taiwan and the European Union held Wednesday, said the EU supported the idea of an investment agreement, but several issues still need to be discussed, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) Friday.

Among them, the EU has expressed concerns over Taiwan's proposal to cut the feed-in tariff (FIT) rate for its offshore wind power sector, Wang said.

In November, the government released a proposal to reduce the 2019 FIT from NT$5.8 (US$0.189) per kilowatt hour (kWh) to NT$5.1.

The plan was met with a backlash from offshore wind power developers, many of which are European firms with operations in Taiwan, which said they had been lured to Taiwan based on the higher rate.

Wang assured the EU that the government would continue to try to resolve its differences with offshore wind energy developers in order to come to a win-win solution for all parties involved, the statement said.

According to the MOEA, other topics discussed during the meeting included technical barriers to trade and intellectual property rights, as well as issues related to Taiwan's overseas procurement plans.

According to the website of the European Commission, the EU is Taiwan's fourth largest trade partner after China, the United States and Japan, while Taiwan was the EU's eighth largest trading partner in Asia in 2017.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel