EU joins Taiwan-US initiated workshop for first time

15-Apr-2021 Intellasia | FocusTaiwan | 5:02 AM Print This Post

The European Union on Wednesday for the first time co-hosted an international workshop that was initiated six years ago by Taiwan and the United States to encourage multilateralism.

The Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF) workshop was held in Taipei, with the option of virtual participation, and it discussed restructuring of the global supply chain and financing of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

For the first time, an EU representative, Filip Grzegorzewski, head of the European Economic and Trade Office in Taiwan (EETO), took part in the discussions.

From fifth right: Filip Grzegorzewski, head of the European Economic and Trade Office in Taiwan; AIT Director Brent Christensen; Foreign Minister Joseph Wu and Hiroyasu Izumi, chief of the Taipei office of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association. Photo courtesy of the AIT

From fifth right: Filip Grzegorzewski, head of the European Economic and Trade Office in Taiwan; AIT Director Brent Christensen; Foreign Minister Joseph Wu and Hiroyasu Izumi, chief of the Taipei office of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association. Photo courtesy of the AIT

German representative to Taiwan Thomas Prinz also joined the one-day seminar virtually, marking the first time that his country participated in the GCTF.

The GCTF was launched by Taiwan and the US in June 2015 to help bring Taiwan’s expertise to the global stage and promote multilateralism, as China continued its efforts to limit Taiwan’s international participation. In 2019, Japan joined the platform as a full partner.

Apart from the EU, other co-hosts have been Sweden, Australia, Guatemala, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

According to a press release issued by the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), it was the first time that the GCTF discussed the topic of securing diverse and resilient supply chains in the Indo-Pacific.

The discussions also focused for the first time on how the financial services industry can support SMEs to create a new ecosystem of supply chains in an evolving global economy, said the AIT, which represents US interests in Taiwan in the absence of official diplomatic ties.

Speaking at the seminar, AIT director Brent Christensen reaffirmed the US’ strong partnership with Taiwan to build upon the supply chain restructuring efforts.

That partnership is being facilitated though the joint efforts of the AIT and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council and via the US-Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue, he said.

“In this effort to secure critical supply chains, we are eager to partner with like-minded countries and partners who share similar values of trust, rule of law, and strong protections of intellectual property,” Christensen said in his address. “We believe that these shared values in turn enrich communities and economies in the Indo Pacific.”

The seminar was also joined virtually by industry development experts, government officials, and specialists in SME finance and business development in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.

Since the GCTF’s founding, 30 international workshops on topics such as public health, women’s empowerment, and energy efficiency have been held, with the participation of some 1,800 government officials and experts from 70 countries.

https://focustaiwan.tw/business/202104140017

 

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