Future industries event strengthens Taiwan-EU economic ties

One of the biggest-ever official delegations from Taiwan is taking part in the EU-Taiwan Event on Industry of the Future June 26-27 in Brussels, underscoring the commitment of the Republic of China (Taiwan) government to strengthening cooperation between companies, clusters and business associations in Taiwan and the EU.

Headed by Minister without Portfolio Deng Chen-chung and Environmental Protection Administration Minister Lee Ying-yuan, the 110-plus group comprises representatives from Taiwan's academic, public and private sectors. Its primary task is to promote partnerships with the 17 participating EU member countries, identify common areas of interest for collaboration, as well as market focus, sectoral and value chain complementarities.

The delegation is attending seminars on a variety of key issues like the circular economy, fifth-generation telecommunications technology and smart manufacturing. Other activities include matchmaking events for businesses, business associations and clusters.

During the event's opening ceremony, Deng brought participants up to speed on cluster development in Taiwan and the government's five-plus-two innovative industries initiative, adding that he expects enhanced cooperation between the two sides in this regard.

A key plank in President Tsai Ing-wen's national development strategy, the initiative targets the five emerging and high-growth sectors of biotech and pharmaceuticals, green energy, national defense, smart machinery and Internet of Things, as well as focuses on promotion of two core concepts: circular economy and a new paradigm for agricultural development.

Lee, who also delivered an address at the opening ceremony, called for further cooperation between Taiwan and the EU in areas spanning biomaterials and construction waste management, e-waste recycling and reuse of kitchen waste. The government is promoting the circular economy at full steam by leveraging the country's recycling prowess, he said.

Taiwan ranked No. 3 in the world with a recycling rate of 60 percent behind Germany, 62 percent and Austria, 63 percent, according to data released in June 2015 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

In addition to upping Taiwan's recycling rate to 61 percent by 2020, Lee said the government plans to increase resources productivity to NT$65.80 (US$2.16) per kilogram by 2022. This represents annual growth of 4.1 percent from 2011, and will help build the country into a circular economy hot spot in Asia, he added.

Co-organized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs' Bureau of Foreign Trade and Department of Industrial Technology and the European Commission, the event springboards off the success of EU Innovation Week staged on the sidelines of the Computex Taipei in June 2016.

Source: Taiwan Today