2022 Europe Day Dinner
The ECCT’s annual Europe Day Dinner was attended by a capacity crowd of distinguished guests including President Tsai Ying-wen, Filip Grzegorzewski, Head of the European Union’s (EU) European Economic and Trade Office (EETO) in Taiwan, senior government officials and executives from European and Taiwanese companies. At the dinner, speeches were given by President Tsai, the EETO head and ECCT Chairman H Henry Chang. Read the full event report.
In his speech at the dinner, Chairman Chang began by saying that ECCT has been advocating the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions and that members were attending the dinner in support of the government’s policy of learning to live with the virus. He went on to urge the government to lift the remaining restrictions on inbound travellers so that Taiwan could be open for business and to the world.
The chairman went on to highlight some of the achievements of Taiwan under the Tsai administration and how the ECCT is willing and ready to help Taiwan to continue to make further economic and social progress by focusing on the three domains or platforms of the ECCT which represent the best of European know-how in Taiwan.
In terms of energy transformation, wind, solar, geothermal energy as well as energy storage, smart grids and green hydrogen are the strong suits of European businesses. With the hardware or infrastructure in place, software must likewise be strengthened, he said. In the ecosystem of energy generation, transmission, distribution and consumption, extra efforts must be made to enhance the intelligence, resilience and stability of the grid infrastructure in Taiwan; and this encompasses interactions among different forms of energy, smart grids, electric mobility charging infrastructure, energy storage and smart buildings.
A second priority for the ECCT is the Talent and Education domain. The chairman pointed out that Taiwan has a strong technical and manufacturing base and that Europe can help to take Taiwan to the next level by combining innovation with manufacturing expertise.
In his speech, EETO Head Filip Grzegorzewski emphasised how Europe had changed since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It had become more united, more ambitious, more aware of the threats and more determined than ever to defend its values, political system, economy, and way of life.
The EETO head went on to echo the call by the chairman to urge the government to remove inbound travel restrictions. While he praised Taiwan’s handling of the pandemic, he said that Taiwan’s isolation has come at a high cost. “It has always been important to balance public health with individual freedoms and responsibilities. In a democratic society, the end never justifies the means. In a short time, Taiwan has become less international. We look forward to moving on, to being able to fly in and out of the island, and to resume, in the coming weeks, our normal human-to-human contacts,” he said.
He went on to speak about the EU’s strengthening ties with Taiwan and cooperation in areas such as securing supply chains, promoting connectivity, maritime security, addressing the climate crisis, cyber security, semiconductors, green economy, digital transformation, countering disinformation or addressing the threats to global health.
In her speech President Tsai President Tsai thanked the EU and its member states for their enduring support for Taiwan, for their continued advocacy for Taiwan's inclusion in the World Health Organization (WHO), and for supporting the security of Taiwan and the region.
The president stated that, as we work to leave the pandemic behind while also facing the challenges of authoritarianism, Taiwan is willing to work together with the EU to assist the global community in economic recovery and to prevent democratic backsliding. The president also emphasized that a Taiwan-EU bilateral investment agreement (BIA) can be a giant step in our progress toward an even stronger partnership, working together as partners and friends to shape a more positive and prosperous future.
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