July 5, 2016
A five-member delegation from the French National Assembly and French Senate, led by the Hon. François de Rugy, will visit the Republic of China between July 5 and July 8. This visit will allow delegation members to gain a greater understanding of the ROC’s foreign policy, cross-strait relations, as well as the nation’s renewable energy industry, and will facilitate future bilateral cooperation.
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 Foreign Affairs David Tawei Lee, and ranking officials of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. They will also attend a banquet in their honor hosted by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Chih-Chung Wu. The delegation will also visit the Taiwan Institute for Sustainable Energy, the National Palace Museum, Taipei 101, nongovernmental organizations, and environmental protection and clean-energy firms.
The Hon. François de Rugy became Vice President of the French National Assembly on May 17. Other delegation members include Jean-Claude Lenoir, Chairman of the French Senate’s Committee on Economic Affairs; Yves Durand, who sits on the French National Assembly’s Committee on Cultural Affairs; Patrice Martin-Lalande, who is a member of the French National Assembly’s Committee on Foreign Affairs; and Bernard Gérard, a member of the French National Assembly’s Committee on Constitutional Law, Legislation, and General Administration. This marks the first visit to Taiwan for Messrs. de Rugy and Durand; the other delegation members have visited Taiwan previously.
Recent years have witnessed close exchanges and cooperation between Taiwan and France in the areas of trade, agriculture, technology, culture, and the arts. France is Taiwan’s fourth-largest trading partner in Europe; bilateral trade amounted to US$4.28 billion in 2015. 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 technological cooperation. With regard to culture and the arts, the Taiwan-France Cultural Award co-founded by the ROC Ministry of Culture and the Institute of France has become a recognized honor. In the future, Taiwan and France will continue to strengthen bilateral relations on the basis of existing close exchanges. (E)