EBRD investment forum wraps up in Taipei

An investment forum aimed at encouraging Taiwan enterprises to explore business opportunities in European Bank for Reconstruction and Development countries of operations wrapped up June 20 in Taipei City.

Jointly staged by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the London-headquartered development bank, the EBRD Investment Forum: We Invest in Changing Lives featured presentations on current market conditions and proposed projects in Jordan, Kazakhstan, Poland, Turkey and Baltic countries. Local enterprises were introduced to planned EBRD initiatives spanning such areas as green energy, environmental and municipal infrastructure and financial services.

The one-day event was held as part of Taiwan-EBRD Cooperation Week, which also comprises technical visits by foreign delegations to government agencies and private enterprises around the country.

Speakers at the investment forum included Walter M. S. Yeh, president and CEO of Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA); Wang Liang-yu, deputy director-general of the MOFA's Department of International Organizations; Richard Wu, vice president of Taipei-based Far Eastern Electronic Toll Collection Co.; EBRD Vice President of Policy and Partnership Pierre Heilbronn; as well as officials from the bank's Business Development Department and branch offices in Poland and Turkey.

Yeh said in his opening remarks that local firms' information and communication technology expertise makes them ideal partners for innovative development projects in EBRD countries of operations. He encouraged local businesses to tap these emerging markets, stating that such endeavors will provide significant economic benefits for both sides.

According to Wang, Taiwan and the EBRD have fostered close collaboration through such measures as the TaiwanBusiness-EBRD Technical Cooperation Fund. The Republic of China (Taiwan) government has invested a total of US$45 million in the fund, delivering over US$700 million in business opportunities for Taiwan enterprises from 2012 to 2016, she said.

The longstanding Taiwan-EBRD partnership has also fostered the nation's reputation as an effective provider of business solutions in the bank's countries of operations and strengthened Taiwan's trade ties with emerging regions, Wang added.

Wu attended the event to share FETC's experiences in cooperating with the MOFA and EBRD to assist nations with the development of intelligent transportation technologies. The company has signed memorandums of understanding with Kazakhstan and Bosnia and Herzegovina aimed at facilitating the establishment of smart tolling systems.

These pacts provide excellent roadmaps for other Taiwan firms in fostering cooperation with emerging markets through the EBRD, Wu said, adding that FETC looks forward to expanding collaboration on smart transportation technologies to other countries of operations going forward.

Established in 1991, the EBRD funds projects and provides advisory services to 36 countries across Central Asia, central and Eastern Europe and North Africa with the goal of fostering open market economies.

According to the EBRD, Taiwan is an important source of foreign direct investment in countries where the bank operates. Total Taiwan-EBRD investment stood at 1.46 billion euros (US$1.63 billion) as of January 2017, with Taiwan contributing 283 million euros of this amount.

In addition, the Taipei-based Taiwan Office of EBRD Business Development, which celebrated its 10th anniversary last year, has helped local enterprises expand to 23 EBRD countries of operations.

Source: Taiwan Today