Climate change cooperation one of key focuses in Taiwan: U.K. envoy

Taipei-Enhancing United Kingdom cooperation with Taiwan in the areas of climate change, and trade and investment will be among the key focuses of the British Office Taipei (BOT) in the coming years.

At a luncheon meeting with Taiwanese press on Thursday, coinciding with Earth Day, BOT head John Dennis said the office will seek to promote climate action initiatives to rally leadership and support from authorities, cities and businesses in Taiwan.

“We have been working with stakeholders in Taiwan on a range of projects including, for example, supporting a study on carbon pricing options for Taiwan and hosting workshops on green finance,” said Dennis.

He lauded Taiwanese businesses for participating in global initiatives such as the Race to Zero campaign, Renewable Energy 100, Electric Vehicle 100, and the Powering Past Coal Alliance to support efforts mitigating climate change. “Looking forward, we would be delighted to see Taiwan also set a net zero goal which would underline the importance Taiwan attaches to this issue, both domestically and internationally,” he added.

According to Dennis, Taiwan is the largest offshore wind market for the U.K. in Asia, with 28 offshore wind supply chain companies established in Taiwan, many of those offices serving as regional Asia Pacific hubs.

He also mentioned that U.K. Export Finance, an export credit agency and ministerial department in the U.K., has provided credit guarantees worth £500 million (US$717 million) to finance three offshore wind projects in Taiwan since 2019.

In terms of trade and investment, Dennis said U.K.-Taiwan bilateral trade has continued to grow in recent years, reaching £7.1 billion in 2019, a 28 percent increase since 2017.

“In 2019, Taiwan invested £64.2 million in the U.K., making the U.K. Taiwan’s most popular investment destination in Europe,” he said.

“The U.K. is also ranked the No. 1 investor among European countries in Taiwan, with investment to Taiwan reaching £450 million in 2020,” he added.

The U.K’s top envoy to Taiwan said he looks forward to the annual trade talks between the two sides in October to further strengthen overall bilateral trade.

Other priority areas of cooperation for BOT, as listed by Dennis, include acting as a force for good, science and technology, building bilingualism and people-to people links, all in line with U.K. Government’s post-Brexit vision.

Dennis assumed his post in late December last year.

Over the past 100 days, the BOT head said he has met with President Tsai Ing-wen (???), Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (???), Economic Minister Wang Mei-hua (???), Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (???) and key business leaders.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel