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Ministry of Economic Affairs,R.O.C.

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2020-11-25 21:33
Department of International Cooperation

Taiwan-Israel economic and technological conference achieves positive outcomes, including signing of standards agreement

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13th Taiwan-Israel Economic and Technological Cooperation Conference-Deputy Minister Chern-Chyi C.C.Chen
The 13th Taiwan-Israel Economic and Technological Cooperation Conference was convened in virtual format on Nov. 25, with the two sides exchanging views on a range of issues, including cooperation on water resources, circular economy, energy, industrial R&D, fintech, AI applications, mobile telecommunications, and smart city development. The conference, co-chaired by Taiwan Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Chern-Chyi “C.C.”Chen and Ohad Cohen, Trade Commissioner, Director of the Israeli Ministry of Economy’s Foreign Trade Administration, included the signing of a bilateral agreement on standards cooperation.

Speaking at the opening, Trade Commissioner Cohen stated that the Conference serves an important role in boosting bilateral economic, trade, investment and technological ties, and that despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, going ahead with holding this year’s meeting by videoconference was therefore crucial in order to maintain momentum in the bilateral relationship. He noted that two-way trade has continued to improve, reaching US$1.6 billion in 2019, with Israeli exports increasing more than 40% year on year. The Trade Commissioner also pointed out that business to business contact between the two sides is key to closer ties, saying that efforts by Israel’s representative office in Taiwan to facilitate such contact has led to multiple collaborations. He further expressed optimism that the Conference will continue helping to expand the scope of bilateral cooperation across a range of sectors. In addition, he commended Taiwan on its success in handling COVID-19, saying it can serve as a role model for the rest of the world.

In his opening remarks, Deputy Minister Chen briefed participants on Taiwan’s response strategies and measures to the new economic realities brought about by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including tapping into opportunities stemming from the restructuring of global supply chains. He also talked about Israel’s competitive advantages, including as a center for technological innovation, which has attracted many Taiwanese firms to set up R&D centers there or invest in Israeli startups. Noting that Taiwan possesses complementary strengths, such as flexible manufacturing capabilities, the Deputy Minister stressed that the two sides have the potential to generate significant commercial opportunities and create win-win outcomes by combining their respective strengths and advantages through collaboration in a range of sectors.

This year’s Conference achieved many positive outcomes, such as the signing of a bilateral agreement on standards and inspection cooperation, including information and personnel exchanges, which will help to boost product safety and facilitate greater two-way trade. The two sides also made progress on boosting water resources cooperation, through which Taiwan is expected to benefit significantly from Israel’s expertise in water resources management and conservation. Industrial R&D collaboration will also be expanded, with field testing and verification being added to the existing scope of joint research projects. The two sides also agreed to pursue greater bilateral public and private sector cooperation on circular economy, including applying joint projects for the EU’s Green Deal, designating contact points to actively explore potential opportunities. They also pledged to foster closer bilateral cooperation on AI, smart cities, fintech, tourism, environmental protection, energy, smart mobility, and digital health through exchanges of delegation visits, the holding of bilateral professional seminars, and the signing of related MOUs.

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan-Israel bilateral trade has remained robust, with year-on-year growth of 14.7% registered for the first nine months of 2020. Imports from Israel grew by 26.5% for the period. Expanded bilateral cooperation stemming from this year’s Conference is expected to generate greater commercial opportunities and add to future growth in two-way trade.