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Parliamentary questions
22 March 2013
E-001267/2013
Answer given by Mr De Gucht on behalf of the Commission

The Commission recognises Taiwan's economic importance. With around EUR 40 billion of goods and services traded annually, Taiwan is the EU’s 19th largest trading partner. The EU and Taiwan already have a fully functional trade dialogue in place. Annual trade consultations are held, followed by a mid-term review. Four technical working groups meet twice a year. This comprehensive dialogue is delivering results, especially on non-tariff issues. 

The EU has a very intense and resource demanding Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiating agenda in Asia (with Japan, India and several ASEAN Member States), but also with other countries and regions. These negotiations aim at comprehensive and ambitious FTAs as outlined in the Parliament Resolution of 27 September 2011 on a New Trade Policy for Europe under the Europe 2020 strategy focusing on ‘key partners’ and ‘prioritising those negotiations that will provide most benefit in terms of growth and jobs’ as stressed in the Conclusions of the European Council of 7/8 February 2013.

Relations with Taiwan also have to be seen in terms of its unique political situation. The EU’s one-China policy is supportive of the cross-strait dialogue, which has led to improvements in cross-strait relations over the past five years. It should be noted that Taiwan seems to show a preference for negotiating free trade agreements with third countries with which China already has concluded a similar agreement.

OJ C 361 E, 11/12/2013
Last updated: 26 March 2013Legal notice