Franck Paris, the new French envoy to Taiwan, spoke with local media on Monday for the first time after assuming his position. He expressed his hope for Taiwan and France to cooperate in the field of science and innovation.

Under the leadership of Paris, the French Office in Taipei organized a two-day “Cultural Strategy Conference” held from Monday to Tuesday (October 2nd to 3rd). Marie Buscail, a senior official from the French Foreign Ministry, also attended the conference.

Naming Taiwan as a “priority partner,” Paris explained that France and Taiwan are closely linked by their common “democratic values” and can work together to combat prevailing disinformation, address challenges arising from artificial intelligence, and protect the human rights of minorities.

Paris particularly highlighted the potential for tech cooperation in the semiconductor industry, mentioning that France has “a highly advanced semiconductor industrial park,” which showcases its competitiveness in attracting investment from Taiwan.

Over the past 40 years, France and Taiwan have maintained a close partnership in the cultural realm, which has provided an important foundation. However, Paris noted that there has been limited progress in further advancement. He emphasized that “We are a scientific nation. We are an innovative nation” and expressed hopes for Taiwan-France relations to extend beyond culture and establish ties in the fields of science, innovation, and technology.

During the press conference, Paris outlined the main goal of The French Office in Taipei for the next few years, which is to promote Taiwan's better understanding of France. More French entrepreneurs, academics, and scientists are expected to visit Taiwan for exchanges with their Taiwanese counterparts.

For example, French physicist Maud Vinet, the founder of the quantum computing start-up Qobly, is scheduled to travel to Taiwan in December for an event celebrating women scientists, as announced by the Office.

Other goals include strengthening the connection between Taiwan and France in terms of humanistic values and addressing contemporary challenges posed by fields such as artificial intelligence through creative solutions, according to Paris.

The former French envoy to Taiwan, Jean-François Casabonne-Masonnave, resigned in August of this year. Paris, who previously served as the chief diplomatic adviser to French President Emmanuel Macron, succeeded him in The French Office in Taipei. This change is widely regarded by political analysts as a strategic reevaluation of Taiwan's diplomatic importance by France.

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TNL Editor: Kim Chan (@thenewslensintl)

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