July 25, 2016
Lord Northbrook from the British House of Lords is leading a five-member delegation, consisting of members of both Houses of the UK Parliament, to the Republic of China (Taiwan) from July 24 to July 30. The aim is to better understand ROC foreign and cross-strait relations, overall political and economic developments, the five major innovative industries Taiwan is promoting, and avenues for greater economic and trade cooperation between Taiwan and the United Kingdom.
While this is Lord Northbrook’s third visit, the other members of the delegation, including Lord Elder, and MPs Nigel Huddleston, Steven Paterson, and Virendra Sharma, are visiting Taiwan for the first time.
The delegation will have an audience with President Tsai Ing-wen, and call on Vice President of the Legislative Yuan Tsai Chi-chang, Minister of the Mainland Affairs Council Ambassador Chang Hsiao-yueh, and Minister of the National Development Council Dr. Chen Tain-jy. They will also call at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Association of Foreign Relations, and attend a luncheon held in their honor by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Chih-Chung Wu. In addition to visiting the National Palace Museum, Taipei 101, Sun Moon Lake, and other sites of cultural and economic interest, the delegation will call at Kaohsiung City government and Jong Shyn Shipbuilding Group. in southern Taiwan.
In recent years, the UK and the ROC have enjoyed close interactions and cooperation in such areas as trade, mutual judicial assistance, tourism, and youth exchanges. The UK is Taiwan’s third largest trade partner in Europe, with bilateral trade reaching US$5.6 billion in 2015, and the two countries signed a prisoner transfer agreement this May. Moreover, the UK expanded its Registered Traveller service to include Taiwan in January this year, and young people from both sides have participated enthusiastically in the bilateral youth exchange program signed in 2011. Taiwan and the UK will continue to enhance their substantive ties based on these solid foundations. (E)