Taiwan and the United Kingdom have signed an “Enhanced Trade Partnership” Arrangement today, advancing their bilateral cooperation in three key areas, including digital trade, investment, and net-zero carbon emissions, as stated in a press release from The Executive Yuan’s Office of Trade Negotiations.

Kelly Wu-Chiao Hsieh, Taiwan’s representative to the U.K., and John Dennis, the U.K.'s envoy to Taiwan, signed the Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) Arrangement via a teleconference, marking a significant milestone for a long-term economic and trade partnership between Taiwan and the UK, according to the Office.

The agreement sets mechanisms and negotiation guidelines for various forms of trade partnership between Taiwan and the U.K., with a focus on three areas: digital trade, investment, and renewable energy, and the possibility of expanding to other mutually beneficial issues.

The agreement also anticipates more focused cooperation regarding semiconductors and digital technology between Taiwan and the U.K. The Office also highlighted that the U.K. is a prominent player in semiconductor design, while Taiwan excels in semiconductor design, wafer manufacturing, packaging, and testing. Emerging digital technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) heavily rely on advanced chip processing capabilities, making the combined strengths of Taiwan and the U.K. in the semiconductor industry ideal for digital technology cooperation.

Deng Zhenzhong, Political Deputy Minister of the Executive Yuan and Chief Negotiator for the Office of Trade Negotiations, told the press that the U.K., as the world's sixth-largest economy, possesses significant global economic and political influence. The signing of this agreement is of great significance for Taiwan, as it elevates its international economic and trade status and will attract other countries to establish trade relations with Taiwan.

Moreover, with the U.K. set to become a new member of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), the advancement of economic and trade relations between the U.K. and Taiwan is highly beneficial for Taiwan as it seeks to gain access to the CPTPP, as stated by the Office.

Notably, Taiwan is the third country the U.K. has engaged in ETP talks with, following India and Thailand, as previously announced by Taiwan's Office of Trade Negotiations.

According to Taiwan government data for January to April 2023, the total bilateral trade between the U.K. and Taiwan amounted to US$1.97 billion. The U.K. now ranks as Taiwan's third-largest trading partner in Europe, while Taiwan stands as the U.K.'s 10th-largest trading partner in Asia.

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TNL Editor: Kim Chan (@thenewslensintl)

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