September 6, 2016
A six-member delegation from the Parliament of the French Republic led by Frédérique Massat, chair of the National Assembly’s Committee on Economic Affairs, is visiting Taiwan from September 6 to 9, 2016, at the invitation of the ROC government.
The purpose of the visit is to gain a better understanding of Taiwan’s alternative energy policies, as well as political, economic, and social development, so as to boost bilateral relations between Taiwan and France.
The delegation will have an audience with President Tsai Ing-wen, call on President of the Legislative Yuan Su Jia-chyuan and Mayor of Taoyuan City Cheng Wen-tsan, and call at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the National Space Organization, various NGOs, as well as organizations in the environmental protection and green energy sectors. The delegation will also attend a luncheon hosted by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Chih-Chung Wu, and visit sites of interest such as the National Palace Museum and Taipei 101.
In recent years, Taiwan and France have enjoyed close exchanges and cooperation in such areas as trade, agriculture, technology, culture, and the arts. France is Taiwan’s fourth-largest trading partner in Europe, with bilateral trade in 2015 amounting to over US$4 billion. Following the signing of a bilateral agricultural cooperation agreement in December 2014, the first Taiwan-France agricultural working group meeting was held in Taipei in June 2016. France is also one of Taiwan’s most important partners in the field of technology.
With regard to culture and the arts, the Taiwan-France Cultural Award jointly established by the ROC Ministry of Culture and the Institute of France has become a highly valued honor. Meanwhile, on July 13, 2016, the two sides completed the signing of a joint declaration on a youth working holiday program, which was officially launched on August 8. In the future, Taiwan and France will continue to strengthen bilateral relations.
Ms. Massat serves as deputy chair of the National Assembly’s France-Taiwan friendship group, and was appointed chair of the Committee on Economic Affairs in October 2015. Other members of the delegation include Marie-Françoise Clergeau, member of the National Assembly and chief parliamentary administrator; Geneviève Fioraso, member of the National Assembly and former minister of higher education and research; Leila Aïchi, member of the Senate and deputy chair of both its Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Armed Forces and France-Taiwan Friendship Group; and Marie-Noëlle Battistel and Jeanine Dubié, both members of the National Assembly and its Committee on Economic Affairs. Among the members of the delegation, Ms. Clergeau and Ms. Fioraso are visiting Taiwan for the first time. (E)