The 4th Taiwan-Austria Economic and Trade Dialogue, held in Taipei on May 27, was co-chaired by Deputy Minister of the MOEA, Ms. Mei Hua Wang, and Austria’s Assistant Vice Minister, Mr. Franz Wessig.
Austria is Taiwan's 10th largest trading partner in the EU, with bilateral trade reaching 1.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2018, having risen 16.9% from 2017. Increases were especially significant in semiconductor, automobile, and biopharmaceutical products. We believe that there will still be opportunity for continued growth looking ahead.
During her opening remarks, Deputy Minister Wang indicated that Taiwan has the advantages of precision manufacturing technology, a high-quality workforce, and mature protection to intellectual property rights. These help Taiwan address the challenges and opportunities brought about by rapidly changing international circumstances. Government assistance to Taiwanese businesses in mainland China in their return of investments to Taiwan and the diversification of their global deployment will enhance our competitiveness in key technology and elevate Taiwan's position in the global supply chain, thereby strengthening the mutual trust and collaboration between Taiwan and Austria.
The Dialogue this year covered various topics, including domains of interest to both sides, such as Industry 4.0, Innovative Startups, and Smart Cities. Austrian delegates also shared the Austrian experience in digital transformation. Furthermore, the “MOU on Cluster Cooperation between Austria and Taiwan” was signed between the two sides after the Dialogue meeting. Through the framework of this MOU, both sides will foster linkages between industrial clusters and drive more concrete industrial and investment cooperation projects.
During their time in Taiwan, the Austrian delegation will participate in the Computex and InnoVEX exhibitions held from May 28 to June 1. Through these exhibitions, the delegation will have a better understanding of Taiwan’s latest technology and startup development, which will facilitate continued advancement of our bilateral relationship, and create more business opportunities.
The Bureau of Foreign Trade informed that, Mr. Franz Wessig and his delegation not only participated in official meetings while in Taiwan, but also the “12th Taiwan-Austria Economic Cooperation Conference” jointly organized by the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKO) and the Chinese International Economic Cooperation Association (CIECA). This conference focused on the “Green Economy,” “Biotechnology and Medicine industry,” and “Digital Transformation.” It is estimated that more than 140 people attended the conference, with participants showing great enthusiasm for exchanges. Through interactions at these official and non-official meetings, the businesses of both sides are expected to be better positioned to seize the increased number of business opportunities.