German Bundestag members Dr. h. c. Albert Weiler and Mr. Thorsten Hoffmann to visit Taiwan
Date: 2017/05/09    Data Source: Public Diplomacy Coordination Council
May 9, 2017

Two members of the German Bundestag—Mr. Albert Weiler, a member of the Committee of Labour and Social Affairs, and Thorsten Hoffmann, a member of the Committee of Internal Affairs—will visit Taiwan at the invitation of the government of the Republic of China from May 9 to 13, 2017.

During this time, the parliamentarians will gain a better understanding of recent developments in Taiwan’s political, economic, and social spheres, and in its relations with mainland China. They will also visit various government agencies to discuss such issues as Taiwan’s transportation and economic infrastructure, pension reform, graying society, and labor union operations, as well as police and mutual legal assistance cooperation.

Furthermore, the parliamentarians will call at the Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Labor, National Development Council, Mainland Affairs Council, National Police Agency, and German Institute Taipei. Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs François Chih-Chung Wu will also host a luncheon in their honor. In addition, they will visit labor unions and sites of economic and cultural significance, such as the National Palace Museum, Taipei Confucius Temple, academic institutions, and Taroko National Park.

In recent years, Taiwan and Germany have enjoyed close exchanges and cooperation in such areas as the economy 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 reaching US$14.5 billion in 2016.

In 2011, Taiwan and Germany signed a bilateral agreement on the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of tax evasion, which took effect on January 1, 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. The following month, 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 the bilateral youth working holiday scheme, raising the number of participants from 300 to 500 for both sides, taking effect retroactively on October 11, 2015. The two sides also signed a letter of intent on enhancing bilateral cooperation in high tech fields, and the German-Taiwan Joint Declaration of Intent on Cooperation in the Field of Energy Transition, in September and December 2016, respectively. (E)