French parliamentarians look to further economic ties with Taiwan

French lawmaker François de Rugy (left) and President Tsai Ing-wen. CNA photo Dec. 16, 2021
                            French lawmaker François de Rugy (left) and President Tsai Ing-wen. CNA photo Dec. 16, 2021

French lawmaker François de Rugy, who heads a parliamentary delegation visiting Taiwan from Dec. 15-19, has said he looks forward to seeing Taiwan and France further bilateral economic ties in such areas as the production of semiconductors and renewable energy.

De Rugy made the comment when the six-member delegation met with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) Thursday morning.

He also underscored the importance of Taiwan and France collaborating to combat climate crisis and COVID-19.

The two countries have grown closer because of similar values such as democracy, freedom of speech and association. The two sides also value free and transparent elections while defending independent and liberal media, de Rugy said.

The French National Assembly in November adopted a resolution that called on the French government to offer concrete support for Taiwan’s participation in international organizations, noted de Rugy, who currently chairs the National Assembly’s France-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group.

The non-legally binding resolution was passed in a 39-2 vote with 3 abstentions, following a similar resolution adopted by the French Senate in May.

Meanwhile, Tsai thanked the parliamentarians for showing their support for Taiwan by passing the resolution in the National Assembly and their visit, which comes after a five-member delegation from the French Senate came in early October.

Taiwan’s government looks forward to welcoming French government officials to Taiwan in the near future, Tsai added.

Democratic partners should work together in the wake of the expansion of authoritarianism, Tsai said, adding that her administration is committed to further deepening Taiwan’s ties with France.

She also expressed hope that France, which takes up the presidency of the EU Council in the first half of 2022, will push for the negotiation of a bilateral investment agreement between Taiwan and the European Union.

The parliamentary delegation also met with Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) on Wednesday to discuss bilateral economic relations, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).

During the meeting, Wang proposed that Taiwanese enterprises and their French partners collaborate on the development of electric vehicles in addition to semiconductors and offshore wind power, MOEA said in a press statement.

Source: The Central News Agency (CNA)