German federal parliament delegation, led by Stephan Mayer, visits Taiwan
Date: 2016/11/16    Data Source: Public Diplomacy Coordination Council
November 16, 2016
No.264                               

Mr. Stephan Mayer, a member of the German Bundestag and spokesperson for home affairs of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, is leading a four-member delegation on a visit to the Republic of China (Taiwan) from November 16 to 19, 2016, at the invitation of the ROC government.

The visit will provide delegation members a better understanding of Taiwan’s political, economic, and social development, as well as the current state of cross-strait relations. Members will engage in discussions with competent authorities on social order, internet security, renewable energy, immigration, and bilateral judicial assistance and cooperation.

Germany is Taiwan’s largest trading partner in Europe, while Taiwan is Germany’s fifth-largest trading partner in Asia. The two countries signed an agreement on the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income at the end of 2011. Upon the agreement’s taking effect in January 2013, Germany became the second-largest foreign investor in Taiwan, with investments in Taiwan growing 120 percent and 340 percent, respectively, in 2013 and 2014.  Taiwan’s investments in Germany, meanwhile, grew 207 percent in 2013.  Bilateral trade reached US$14.6 billion in 2015.

In recent years, the two sides have engaged in close exchanges in such fields as economics and trade, science and technology, culture, and tourism. In September 2015, the ROC 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 increasing cooperation in education. That October, the ROC Food and Drug Administration signed a joint declaration with the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices to enhance bilateral cooperation involving drugs and medical equipment. On March 24, 2016, the two governments agreed to expand each side’s annual quota for the bilateral youth working holiday program from 300 to 500 persons (retroactively effective from October 11, 2015), while on September 1 the two sides also signed a letter of intent on enhancing bilateral cooperation in high tech-related fields.

The visitors will call at the Legislative Yuan, Ministry of Justice, Mainland Affairs Council, National Police Agency, National Immigration Agency, Bureau of Energy, and the German Institute Taipei, and will also attend a luncheon hosted by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs François Chih-Chung Wu. Also on the agenda are visits to various sites of cultural and economic interest including the National Palace Museum, Taipei 101, Taiwan Excellence Pavilion, Lungshan Temple, and Taroko National Park.

Other members of the delegation include Barbara Woltmann, who is a member of the Bundestag’s home affairs committee, as well as two legislative assistants. Ms. Woltmann is a member of Germany-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group. In addition, Mr. Mayer is a frequent guest on TV programs where he speaks on national and social security as well as refugees. (E)