/  ECCT   /  Press Releases   /  ECCT releases 2023 Position Papers

ECCT releases 2023 Position Papers

The European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan (ECCT) today released its 2023 Position Papers. Through the theme “Recognising Taiwan’s Success - Seizing Opportunities in the Changing World Order”, the ECCT acknowledged Taiwan’s stellar economic progress in recent years and called on the government to take action to ensure Taiwan’s continued success in a world undergoing seismic shifts.

The launch was held at an ECCT Premium Event lunch today, where ECCT Chairman H Henry Chang officially handed over a copy of the chamber’s annual publication to the Taiwan government, represented by National Development Council (NDC) Deputy Minister Kao Shien-Quey. This year’s publication includes separate submissions from 25 of the ECCT’s industry and support committees and raises 161 issues, 108 from previous years and 53 new issues.

In his presentation to NDC Deputy Minister Kao and ECCT members at the launch, Chairman Henry Chang thanked the government for its efforts that led to progress on over 21% of the issues raised in the previous year’s paper. He went on to give a summary of the Position Paper Overview and highlight some of the major issues facing ECCT members.

Summary of the 2023 Position Paper Overview
Taiwan has been a major beneficiary of the post-World War II world order. It has derived enormous benefits as an export-driven economy and its contract manufacturing model. Taiwan has also emerged relatively strongly from the global coronavirus pandemic. However, the global economic order is undergoing some seismic shifts in which geopolitical issues play an increasingly more prominent role and business decisions are no longer made on their economic merits alone. In this environment, those countries and companies that maintain flexibility and are able to adapt to the changing needs of their trading partners and clients are best placed to thrive. While efforts by the Taiwan government and companies to diversify investments and trade have already shown results, more could be done to push diversification efforts even further and seek stronger partnerships, especially with like-minded countries, such as those in Europe. With the real prospect of slowdowns or even recessions in key export markets, coupled with geopolitical tensions, Taiwan will need to seek out and seize new opportunities to increase resilience and maintain economic momentum. To create the right conditions for success in the changing world order, actions will be needed by the government to speed up Taiwan’s energy transformation, attract and retain talent, enhance the conditions for developing innovative technologies and pursue further internationalisation.

Taiwan’s Energy Transformation
ECCT members have welcomed the government’s commitment and preliminary roadmap to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. However, policymakers are falling far behind their original 2025 timetable goals for renewable energy. Speeding up Taiwan’s energy transformation will require translating commitment into action through coordinated and effective leadership and flexibility in balancing local development objectives with the need for speedy results.

Renewable energy: For Taiwan to remain an attractive investment destination, the deployment of sufficient green energy is of utmost importance. The recent reduction by authorities of onshore wind and geothermal energy targets runs counter to the government’s objectives while the rigid insistence on local content requirements, and the lack of action to reduce red tape in the permitting and other administrative processes for renewable energy projects together pose significant obstacles to renewable energy development. To speed up the pace of renewable energy capacity expansion, the chamber is urging the government to develop all types and forms of renewable energy to the maximum extent possible, remove the cap on offshore wind energy auction prices, shift from itemised localisation to a market-driven percentage of capital investment approach and streamline the permitting process for wind energy projects, including creating “green zones” with simplified permitting requirements.

Support for electric mobility: As part of its net zero roadmap, the government has set targets for the electrification of mobility. The industry fully supports this objective but assistance from government is needed on several fronts to meet these goals. This includes modifying incentive schemes and tax policies to spur the sales of EVs and build charging infrastructure, and reform of existing land and building use regulations to allow charging stations to be built on rural land as well as in cities.   

Future energy developments: In addition to existing solar and wind energy technologies, Taiwan should be looking at the potential of other renewable energy production and storage options, such as geothermal energy, floating offshore wind and hydrogen. All have great potential to be developed in Taiwan but require government support to get off the ground. 

Talent & Education
In the changing world order, Taiwan is in competition with countries across the globe for talent. To improve its ability to attract and retain talent, action is needed on the following issues:

Fit for purpose labour laws: Taiwan’s labour laws require reforms that take into account the complexities of both modern workplaces and remote working. This should include exempting remote workers from the strict requirements to record working hours and attendance records and creating a new category of hybrid worker under Taiwan’s labour laws that addresses the overlap of employee and independent contractor.

Childcare friendly workplace policies: The lack of childcare facilities, the expensive cost of childcare where it is available, and the lack of flexibility in labour regulations have increased the economic and social costs of raising children. This could be alleviated by allowing employees to choose to work from home as an alternative to unpaid parental leave, and by providing subsidies or tax incentives to encourage enterprises to provide childcare spaces and facilities in their workplaces.

Incentives for foreign talent: The qualifications for Taiwan’s Employment Gold Card scheme under the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals are overly strict and should be adjusted in order to attract a larger and more diverse range of foreign talent from Europe, the Americas and elsewhere in Asia.

Ensuring equal treatment: While progress has been made in recent years, there remain a number of areas where legal foreign residents are treated differently from citizens, which need to be addressed. In addition, permanent residency status could be made truly permanent by removing the requirement to reside in Taiwan for six months every year while there should also be a clear path to dual nationality.

Improving the English language environment: The chamber has welcomed the government’s aim to become a bilingual nation by 2030 and initial steps to translate policies, legislation, regulations, rulings, or public announcements into English. However, more could be done towards increasing the scope and improving the quality of government online and offline resources, achieving a greater level of bilingualism in government agencies and enhancing English fluency in education and the private sector.

Technology & Future Industries
Taiwan has made progress in a number of areas over the past year, which is reflected in several international surveys and reports while the global pandemic and geopolitical tensions have served to highlight to the world the importance of Taiwan’s leadership in semiconductors and other high tech industry sub-sectors. However, there are a number of areas where there is room for improvement to spur innovation and new industry development in the changing world order.

Digitalisation: Taiwan maintains regulations that restrict digital platforms from supporting non-credit card payment options, banks from opening corporate accounts and processing corporate loan applications online or outsourcing IT, data processing and cloud computing functions. Meanwhile Taiwan’s FDA lacks digital options for e-submissions of registrations for cosmetics. For food importers, there is currently no digital system for the organic import review process. In addition, regulations still require importers to submit hard copy application forms and other relevant documents. Addressing all of the above-mentioned issues would relieve the administrative burden and speed up the use of digital financial services, and the import process for food, cosmetics, and other consumer goods. The government should lead by example by digitalising aspects of its own services that remain analogue, both in government ministries and state-controlled enterprises.

Aligning with international standards and best practices: There are still instances where local standards and practices deviate from the best international examples. The BSMI, for example, still requires tests for wheels and rims supplied by vehicle manufacturers. In the electrical engineering and equipment industry, authorities in Taiwan do not yet enforce the adoption of the newest international standards for switchgear that are more advanced and safer, while importing IEC certified electrical switchgear is complicated by double-testing requirements under Taiwan's 401 regulation. In addition, Taiwan’s arbitrary width limitations on electric buses and trucks effectively blocks the adoption of the most advanced electric vehicles made to international standards. There are also many instances where Taiwan’s regulations deviate from international norms and where regulations are not implemented or enforced uniformly or consistently across government agencies and regions. Taiwan’s food labelling requirements are overly strict while Taiwan’s protectionist approach and complex approval and inspection procedures serve as technical barriers to the importation of European food products, which reduces consumer choices.

The failure to follow international standards and best practices acts as a deterrent to foreign investment and talent. It also puts companies in Taiwan at a competitive disadvantage in the international marketplace. In contrast, innovation flourishes in an open economy connected to the world. Authorities would therefore do well to address all issues mentioned above and expedite international harmonisation in all aspects of the regulatory environment.

The Overview concludes that, with a diverse economy, strong talent pool and advantages in key technologies, Taiwan is well placed to thrive in the changing world order. In addition to its effective handling of the pandemic, the government has demonstrated a will to tackle other difficult problems and made progress in resolving some of the challenging issues facing businesses over the past year. However, the world has become much riskier and more unpredictable. Maintaining economic dynamism and momentum will require careful navigation. Just as Taiwan’s best companies have become global industry giants by constantly evolving, authorities will need to remain flexible and ready to adjust legislation and regulations to enable and encourage the development of existing players and rising stars. Despite efforts to chip away at the post-World War II international order, there is no alternative for Taiwan but to remain open and pursue further integration with the world.

Following the recommendations in the papers would help Taiwan to overcome diverse challenges, advance the energy transformation, enhance Taiwan’s attractiveness for talent and investment in innovative technologies and industries of the future and capitalise on the emerging economic opportunities in the changing world order.


歐洲商會發布:台灣致勝之道 - 動盪世局中掌握契機
歐洲在臺商務協會(歐洲商會)今天公布2023年建議書,以「台灣致勝之道 - 動盪世局中掌握契機」為主題,肯定台灣近年經濟成長的表現,並呼籲台灣政府應採取行動,確保台灣在現今動盪的世局中繼續領先。

建議書發表會於歐洲商會「菁英午餐會( Premium Event lunch)」舉行,歐洲商會理事長張瀚書向台灣政府代表國發會高仙桂副主委遞交建議書,今年的建議書議題,分別由25個歐洲商會委員會提出,合計161個議題,其中108個議題是以往所提,另外53項則為新議題。

今年歐洲商會首次在封面列出十個KPI ,政府團隊拿下三項優越(Excellent)、二項很好(Very Good)、 五項期許更進步(Room for improvement) 的良好成績,也期待明年會有更令人耳目一新的表現。





歐洲商會成員樂見政府發布在 2050 年之前達成淨零溫室氣體排放的初步技術路線圖。然而,政策制定卻遠遠落後於最初所訂之 2025 年的目標。為了加速台灣能源轉型,需要將承諾轉化為行動,透過靈活的協調能力及領導能力,國產化與快速取得成果間取得平衡。

台灣若想繼續投資挹注,部署充足的綠色能源至關重要。當局最近縮編岸上風電和地熱能源目標, 此舉與政府的目標背道而馳,對國產化的硬性規定,以及未能改善再生能源的許可和其他行政流程上的繁文縟節,顯然在在阻礙了再生能源發展。為加快再生能源發展,呼籲政府應盡可能地發展各種類型和形式的再生能源,取消離岸風電拍賣價格上限,從逐項國產化轉移到以市場為導向的資本投資百分比之做法,並簡化風能項目的許可流程,包括建造簡化許可需求的「綠能區」








歐洲商會樂見台灣政府擬於2030年之前將臺灣打造成為雙語國家,目前政府已經著手採取行動,承諾將政策、 法律、法規、規定或公告翻譯成英文。然而,在擴大範圍和改善政府網站品質及離線資源上,仍需要更多努力,使政府行政機構的雙語制達到更高水準,以及加強教育和私部門的英文流利度。


台灣仍繼續限制數位平台支援非信用卡付款選項、線上開立公司帳戶及處理法人貸款申請,以及申請外包 IT、數據處理和雲端運算功能。同時,台灣的食藥署亦缺乏化妝品的電子提交註冊數位選項。對食品進口商而言,當前沒有數位系統可用於有機進口審查流程;此外,法規仍要求進口商申請進口批准時,提交紙本申請表以及相關文件。若能解決所有上述問題,將會減輕行政負擔,加速食品、化妝品和其他消費品的進口流程,無論是政府各部會或國有企業,政府都應該以身作則,持續在自助服務各方面進行數位化。


目前尚存在台灣當地標準偏離最佳國際範例的情況。舉例來說,標檢局仍要求對汽車製造商供應的輪子和輪框進行測試。在電氣工程和設備產業方面,台灣當局尚未強制採用更先進、更安全的最新國際標準,同時進口 IEC 認證的電氣交換設備,也因台灣第 401 條規則的雙重測試要求,而變得更為複雜。 除此之外,台灣不合理地限制電動公車和卡車的寬度,是阻礙這些依國際標準製造的最先進電動車獲得許可。 尚有諸多台灣規則偏離國際規範的實例,或者未在政府機構和地區統一或一致地實施或執行法規。


若未遵循國際標準,將會限制外國投資和人才前往台灣,這也使台灣企業在國際市場上處於不 利的競爭地位。對比之下,在與世界連結的開放經濟下,企業才能蓬勃創新發展。 因此當局應妥善處理上述各種問題,加快各方面監管環境與國際的一致。

整體而言,憑藉多元化的經濟、優秀的人才和關鍵技術優勢,台灣有能力在不斷變化的世局中茁壯成長。除了有效處理疫情之外,政府也努力解決其他難題,過去一年內,企業面臨的關鍵性問題也獲得進展。 然而,世局動盪且變化莫測,維持經濟活力和動力將需要謹慎行事,正如台灣的最佳企業透過不斷發展,已成為全球產業巨人,當局需要保持彈性且隨時準備調整立法和規則,促進與鼓勵現有業者和明日之星持續茁壯。 放眼二戰後的國際情勢,但台灣無選擇餘地,只能維持開放的社會,尋求與世界進一步整合。

歐洲商會相信2023年的建議書將有助於台灣克服多樣化挑戰、促進能源轉型、強化台灣對未來創新科技和產業的 人才和投資的吸引力,並在多變的世界情勢下,掌握巨大的經濟契機。