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2013/2675(RSP) - 09/10/2013 Text adopted by Parliament, single reading

The European Parliament adopted a resolution tabled by the Committee on International Trade on EU-Taiwan trade relations.

Members recalled that the total amount of bilateral trade between EU and Taiwan had increased more than twelvefold in the past two decades, exceeding EUR 40 billion in 2011.

They also recalled that in 2010 the EU accounted for 31.5 % of all foreign direct investment (FDI) flows and 21 % of FDI stocks in Taiwan, and was the largest foreign investor in the country.

In this context, and considering that the overall trade relationship between the EU and Taiwan is currently performing well below its potential, Parliament felt that the EU should respond positively to Taiwan's willingness to launch parallel negotiations for bilateral agreements on investment protection and market access in order to strengthen further the legal certainty of investments, and increase the volume and quality of investment flows.

It believed that the decision to start such negotiations with Taiwan should be based on economic reasons, and should not be interlinked with an assessment of relations between the EU and China.

Investment protection: Parliament underlined the fact that it is in favour of agreements on investment protection and market access with Taiwan, which would lead to deepening the existing economic relations between the EU and Taiwan. It also noted that any agreement should duly take into account SMEs and improve their ability to invest abroad.

Members stressed that investment agreements concluded by the EU must respect the capacity for public intervention, in particular when pursuing public policy objectives such as social and environmental standards, human rights, security, workers' and consumers' rights, public health and safety and cultural diversity. They called for specific clauses on these objectives to be included in the agreement.

Social and environmental standards: lastly, Members reiterated their call for an effective corporate social responsibility clause and effective social and environmental clauses in the agreement and stress that the latter must oblige foreign investors in the EU to abide by European social standards and social dialogue requirements.