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Delegation of Finnish parliamentarians visits Taiwan
Date: 2016/10/31    Data Source: Public Diplomacy Coordination Council
October 31, 2016
No.254                                

A five-member delegation from the Parliament of Finland led by the Honorable Hannu Hoskonen is visiting Taiwan from October 31 to November 4, 2016, at the invitation of the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

The purpose of the visit is to gain a better understanding of the latest political, economic and cultural developments in Taiwan. The delegation will call at the Legislative Yuan, the Mainland Affairs Council, the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Bureau of Energy, Taipei City government, and Finland’s Trade and Innovation Office, as well as attend a luncheon hosted by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs François Chih-Chung Wu. Other sites of cultural and economic interest to be visited include NanKang Biotech Incubation Center, Neihu Technology Park, the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, the National Palace Museum, Taipei 101 and Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, while the delegation will also fly to Kinmen to experience the islands’ rich cultural heritage.

In addition to Hannu Hoskonen, the delegation includes parliamentarian Outi Alanko-Kahiluoto and Mr. Kahiluoto, and parliamentarians Ville Tavio and Simon Elo. The parliamentarians serve on committees related to constitutional law, commerce, the environment, social affairs and health, and European Union affairs. This is the first time that any member of the delegation has visited Taiwan.

In recent years, Taiwan-Finland relations have enjoyed a stable trend of growth. The two countries have established mechanisms for deputy ministerial-level economics and trade consultations, with annual exchanges taking place in Helsinki and Taipei. The fifth Taiwan-Finland Economic Consultation was held in the Finnish capital in April 2016. Taiwanese trade missions, organized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), visit Finland annually. Finland is Taiwan’s 12th-largest trade partner within the European Union, and total bilateral trade between the two countries reached nearly US$650 million in 2015, with Taiwan enjoying a surplus of US$140 million. As for cultural and educational exchange between Taiwan and Finland, 28 Taiwanese universities and colleges have signed exchange programs with Finnish universities, with around 50 Taiwanese exchange students visiting Finland every year. (E)