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EU-Taiwan Service Industry Seminar

Taipei, 6 November 2014 – The European Economic and Trade Office (EETO), together with the Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT), the European Business Regulatory Cooperation (EBRC) programme and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) hosted a field of distinguished service industry experts at its 2014 EU-Taiwan Service Industry Seminar. The seminar showcased insights in three service industry areas: Finance, ICT - Smart Cities, and Distribution, brought together service industry experts to share information on international trends of the industry, and to explore opportunities and challenges accompanying the rise in trade in services between the EU and Taiwan. This seminar provided a forum for all stakeholders to increase their understanding of regulatory and trade issues, facilitate EU-Taiwan cooperation in service industries and enhance the development of Taiwan's service industry.

Cho Shih-Chao (卓士昭), Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), Frédéric Laplanche, Head of the EETO, and Walter Yeh (葉明水), Executive Vice President of TAITRA delivered opening remarks at the seminar by welcoming greater information exchanges and future cooperation between Europe and Taiwan.

Mr Cho stated that the services sector contributed 68.3% to Taiwan's GDP in 2013. The three major service industries are Wholesale and Retail Trade, Transportation and Storage, and Accommodation and Food Services, which account for 24.46% of GDP. This shows that the service industry has become an important driver of Taiwan's economic growth. He added that the objective of the seminar is to open up vast opportunities for cooperation between the EU and Taiwan, and is expected to facilitate continuous collaboration and bilateral dialogue on the service industry.

Mr Laplanche stated that trade in services is an increasingly important sector for the economy both in Taiwan and the EU, and this is reflected in EU-Taiwan bilateral trade figures. In 2012, total trade in services between the EU and Taiwan increased by 8.9% year on year to €7.95bn. While the EU and Taiwan have a well-structured and comprehensive dialogue, he noted that this was the first time that the EU and Taiwan had co-hosted a seminar of this kind dedicated to the services industry.

Mr Yeh declared that the major contributors of Taiwan's service exports are tourism, transportation and logistics, and financial services. He added that the MICE industry (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibition) is also an area where Taiwan and the EU are both doing quite well. According to the UFI (Global Association of the Exhibition Industry), Taiwan hosted 89 major exhibition events in 2013, and was ranked number 6 Asia. As the EU is a world leader in the MICE industry, he said that this is an area where Taiwan can learn much from the EU.

The event hosted experts from both the EU and Taiwan. The European experts shared presentations on the current negotiation of a TiSA (Trade in Services Agreement), in the framework of WTO, of which both Taiwan and the EU are negotiating parties; on the opening up of the financial industry; an overview of private sector experience in UK; the key elements in global value chains of smart cities; and the distribution services trend in Europe and the greater China area. Experts from Taiwan introduced how to cultivate business growth by listing in Taiwan, the future development of smart cities, cooperation opportunities between the EU and Taiwan, and the globalization on Taiwan distribution services.

Each session was followed by a panel discussion and Q&A, moderated by Cheng Cheng-Mount (鄭貞茂), President, Taiwan Academy of Banking and Finance (TABF); Stanley Wang (王志翔), Deputy Director General of the International Division, Institute for Information Industry (III); and Chou Ting-Jui (周庭銳), Director General, Marketing and Consumer Behavior Research Division, Commerce Development Research Institute (CDRI), respectively, and participated in by all the speakers of each session. The discussion expanded on several topics raised over the course of the seminar. The lively panel discussion was a fitting end to a productive seminar that helped to improve understanding among various stakeholders in government and industry and provide a platform for further cooperation.

The European experts were Laurent Bardon, Coordinator for EU-Taiwan Relations of the EC's Directorate-General for Trade (DG-TRADE); Godwin Chang, Group Country Head of Societe Generale Taipei Branch and Vice Chairman of the ECCT; Mandeep Singh Gill, Head of Prosperity Section, British Trade & Culture Office in Taiwan; Cosmas Lu, CEO of Barclays Taiwan; Pascal Kerneis, Managing Director, European Services Forum; Tony Y. Chen (陳耀東), Vice President, Public Policy – North East Asia & Greater China & Managing Director, DHL Consumer Dialog & Delivery (Beijing) Co. Ltd., Deutsche Post – DHL; and Jean-Marie Guérin, Managing Director of ID Logistics China. The five experts from Taiwan were: Roy Chun Lee (李淳), Deputy Director of the Taiwan WTO and RTA Center, Chung-Hwa Institution for Economic Research; Chien Lih-Chung (簡立忠), Senior Executive Vice President of Taiwan Stock Exchange Corporation; CH Wu (吳傳輝), Vice President of Intelligent Service Business Group, Advantech Co., Ltd.; and Tony Ho (何湯雄), Chairman of Test Rite Group.