April 09, 2017
A six-member delegation from Germany led by Bärbel Höhn, chair of the Committee on the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety at the Bundestag, Germany’s federal parliament, is visiting Taiwan at the invitation of the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) from April 9 to 13, 2017.
The purpose of the visit is to gain a better understanding of Taiwan’s environmental and energy policies, as well as explore specific environmentally themed cooperation projects between Taiwan and Germany for the future, and participate in the First Taiwan-Germany Environmental Forum organized by Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration.
During their time in Taiwan, the members of the delegation will call at the Legislative Yuan, the Council of Agriculture, the Executive Yuan’s Atomic Energy Council, the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Bureau of Energy, New Taipei City government and the German Institute Taipei, as well as attend a luncheon to be hosted by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs François Chih-Chung Wu. The delegation will also visit the Industrial Technology Research Institute, Taiwan Green Building Council, Taiwan Power Company and the CPC Corporation, Taiwan, in addition to calling at various NGOs and organizations operating in related sectors.
In recent years, Taiwan and Germany have enjoyed close exchanges and cooperation in such areas as economics and trade, science and technology, culture, and tourism. Germany is Taiwan’s largest trading partner in Europe, while Taiwan is Germany’s fifth-largest trading partner in Asia, with two-way trade standing at US$14.5 billion in 2016. Germany has also become Taiwan’s second-largest source of foreign investment since the Agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income signed by the two countries in 2011 became effective in January 2013.
In September 2015, Taiwan’s Ministry of Education and the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany signed a letter of intent on intensifying education cooperation. In October of the same year, Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration signed a joint declaration with the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices, while in March 2016, the two governments agreed to expand annual quotas for their bilateral youth working holiday scheme, raising the number of participants from 300 to 500 for each side with retroactive effect as of October 11, 2015. The two sides also signed a letter of intent on enhancing bilateral cooperation in high tech-related fields, and the German-Taiwan Joint Declaration of Intent on Cooperation in the Field of Energy Transition, in September and December 2016, respectively.
In addition to Ms. Höhn, the delegation comprises fellow parliamentarian Mr. Klaus Mindrup; Prof. Dr. Eicke Weber, director and CEO of the Berkeley Education Alliance for Research in Singapore; Dr. Michael Geißler, CEO of the Berlin Energy Agency; Mr. Fabian Schmitz-Grethlein, deputy director for energy at the German Association of Local Utilities; and Ms. Ann-Li Rodenwaldt, a research assistant at Germany’s Independent Institute for Environmental Issues. (E)