Progress made on 2011-2012 Position Paper issues
Since the publication of the 2011-2012 Position Papers, progress has been made on the following issues:
PRC import ban: Taiwan maintains bans or restrictions numerous products manufactured in China. This is a violation of WTO rules and puts many international firms at a disadvantage to their Taiwanese competitors. Thanks to persistent pressure from the ECCT, over the years, the government has lifted the ban or restrictions on hundreds of products, many of which are produced by European firms exclusively in China. For example, in 2012, the last remaining bans on automotive parts manufactured in China were lifted.
Cross-Strait finance and investment: The government loosened many restrictions on investment flows between Taiwan and China, culminating in the opening up of Taiwan’s financial institutions to engage in renminbi (RMB) businesses in 2012.
Electrical Engineering & Equipment
Directive 401: Guidelines for Directive 401 on the Indoor Wiring Standard announced by Taiwanese authorities on 1 January 2012 were out of step with international standards and practices would have had a devastating impact on foreign companies engaged in the electrical engineering and equipment industry. International electrical equipment suppliers supply more than 80% of Taiwan’s market needs and ECCT members estimated that €100 million worth of major projects handled by ECCT members would have been held up by Directive 401, with a seriously disruptive impact on local business and Taiwan’s overall economy. Thanks to months of intense pressure from the ECCT and numerous meetings with officials, authorities revised regulations and instituted a pragmatic compromise that allows ECCT members to continue doing business. The chamber nevertheless will continue to urge the BoE to review and revise all the provisions of Directive 401 to bring them in line with international practices.
Shengen visa waiver: The ECCT has consistently championed EU-Taiwan trade and business ties, Taiwan’s participation in non-political entities and the interests of Taiwanese citizens. The granting of visa waiver status to the European Shengen area for ROC passport holders in 2011 was thanks to the joint efforts of the ECCT, the European Economic & Trade Office (EETO) in Taiwan and European members of parliament among others. The move generated considerable goodwill towards the European Union in Taiwan and has resulted in a significant increase in Taiwanese traveling to Europe for business and tourism.