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2013 Open Door Mission

ECCT delegates together with Joao Aguiar Machado, Deputy Director General of the Directorate-General for Trade (seated, Centre) after their meeting
From 16-18 December 2013, a nine-person ECCT delegation headed by ECCT Chairman Giuseppe Izzo and CEO Freddie Hoeglund traveled to Brussels, Belgium for its sixteenth consecutive annual Open Door Mission. During the mission, the ECCT delegation met with a number of senior officials from the European Commission (EC), the European parliament and several other important institutions including BusinessEurope (the pan-European federation of European industries), the European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE) and the permanent representative to the EU from Italy, which will hold the EU presidency for last six months of 2014.
The ECCT delegation 

Giuseppe Izzo, Chairman

Freddie Hoeglund, CEO

Helmut Felix Bolt, Director

Eckart Mayer, Automotive Committee Co-chair

Marcus Clinch, Beverage Alcohol Committee Chair

Thomas Kuiper, Medical Device Committee Co-chair

Thomas Willemsen, Pharmaceutical Committee Co-chair

Sally Smidt, Automotive Committee Director

Duncan Levine, ECCT Publications Editor

European Commission representatives
Over the course of three days the delegation met with senior EC officials from the Directorate General for Trade (DG Trade), the Directorate-General for Enterprise and Industry (DG ENTR), European External Action Service (EEAS). These included Daniel Calleja, Director-General (DG ENTR) and João Aguiar Machado, Deputy Director General for DG Trade, Peter KJ Berz, Head of Unit, Far East (DG Trade) and Antonio Parenti, Deputy Head of Unit, Far East (DG Trade).Briefing to the Commission and Parliament
At a series of meetings, the ECCT delegation updated Commission officials and members of the European Parliament on the current business, political and economic situation in Taiwan, including an update on the most important issues facing ECCT member companies in Taiwan and listed in the 2014 Position Papers. Officials and Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) were informed of the ECCT's transition to the only foreign nationwide business organization in Taiwan in 2013 and the chamber's expansion of outreach to local governments including those in Taichung, Tainan, Taoyuan County. During meetings, Chairman Giuseppe Izzo also reiterated that the chamber continues to maintain excellent relations with the Taiwan government and, thanks to this, 25% of business issues raised in the 2013 papers were either resolved or saw progress towards resolution compared to about 14% the previous year. Delegates acknowledged that progress on a number of technical issues over the years has also been aided by the Commission's frequent discussions with Taiwanese authorities, particularly through its regular consultations and industry working groups meetings. As part of its preparations for bilateral consultations, Commission officials consult with ECCT member companies.Enhancing trade and investment relations
The ECCT delegation reiterated the case it has made since 2008 for a trade deal between the EU and Taiwan. The ECCT maintains the position concluded from its 2012 report titled "EU-Taiwan Trade Enhancement Measures: Update of the 2008 report Taiwan: Enhancing Opportunities for European Business" that the potential for EU-Taiwan trade enhancement measures are much stronger now than in 2008, when the benefits were first assessed. The delegation reiterated the ECCT's support for a trade deal between the EU and Taiwan because it is good for economic growth and for creating jobs in both Taiwan and Europe. The delegation also expressed support for other measures or agreements designed to remove non-tariff barriers and boost trade and investment relations between Taiwan and the EU.

Aligning interests and support for ECCT priorities
The delegation presented copies of the ECCT's 2014 Position Papers to all Commission officials they met with and requested the EC's assistance and cooperation to try to resolve issues facing European businesses in Taiwan during its discussions with the Taiwanese authorities.

The ECCT requested the Commission's support for ECCT priorities, in particular, the adoption of international standards and the removal of non-tariff barriers facing European firms doing business in Taiwan. In addition, the delegation requested the EC's support for Taiwan's participation in non-political organizations. It was noted that support for Taiwan's participation in non-political organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) would generate considerable goodwill and improve the prospects for progress on other issues.

Commission welcomes delegation and briefing
The ECCT was warmly welcomed by EC officials at all meetings. After 16 consecutive Open Door Mission visits to Brussels as well as frequent interaction whenever EC officials visit Taiwan, the ECCT's reputation is well established in Brussels. Many officials praised the ECCT for its efficient organization and informative position papers.

Ongoing ECCT-EC cooperation
Looking ahead, the ECCT and EC will continue to strengthen cooperation. Commission officials will continue to consult with ECCT member companies ahead of their bi-annual consultations with their Taiwanese counterparts. In addition, this year the ECCT will begin to implement a four-year EU Business and Regulatory Cooperation Programme service contract on behalf of the EC. The aim of the programme is to improve the competitiveness of European companies by furthering knowledge of and the use of EU regulatory principles and instruments in Taiwan administration.

Meeting with Taiwan's representative to the EU and Belgium
As has become an annual tradition, delegates attended a dinner hosted by Taiwan's representative office in the EU and Belgium. Representative Tung Kuo-yu and his staff warmly welcomed the ECCT delegation and the dinner provided a good opportunity for an exchange of ideas on future challenges and opportunities facing Taiwan.

Other meetings
As in previous years the delegation met with the European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE) and BusinessEurope. These meetings provided an opportunity for mutually beneficial briefings on the latest economic and political developments in Taiwan and Europe and strategies for enhancing business development both in Taiwan and Europe.