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President Ma meets delegation from Germany-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group

President Ma Ying-jeou on the afternoon of October 12 met with a delegation from the Germany-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group. Besides thanking the visitors for coming to Taiwan to participate in the ROC's centenary celebrations, the president also expressed his hope that European and Taiwan companies will enter into strategic alliances in an effort to jointly develop markets in mainland China.
The president remarked that while the ROC and Germany do not maintain formal diplomatic relations, the two do have a close substantive relationship. Pointing to economic and trade dealings as an example, the president noted that Taiwan's trade volume with Germany constitutes 30% of all trade with the European Union. In 2010, he said, bilateral trade reached US$14.8 billion, which was a growth of 42.5% from 2009. The president furthermore stated that this is quite a positive development.
With regard to cross-strait relations, President Ma mentioned that over the past three-plus years, the ROC has forged a new relationship with mainland China under the premise of "shelving controversies and pursuing a win-win solution" and on the foundation of "one China, respective interpretations." On the one hand, he said, this has created peace in the Taiwan Strait, while on the other hand it is affording greater room for Taiwan to participate in the international community.
President Ma furthermore stated that cross-strait trade has increased and many countries have exhibited an increased willingness to improve their trade and economic relationship with Taiwan in the wake of the signing of the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement. This has reintegrated Taiwan into the regional and global economy, he commented. Meanwhile, in September of this year Taiwan and Japan signed an investment protection agreement, which will enable Japanese and Taiwanese firms to create strategic alliances and jointly develop markets in mainland China, he said. The president expressed his belief that European companies can follow a similar model in the future.
The president mentioned that since the European Union (EU) granted visa-free courtesies to ROC nationals, the number of Taiwanese visiting Schengen Agreement member nations has grown over 40% in the March to August period in comparison with the same period last year. This pace of growth is rarely seen, he pointed out, furthermore stating that a continued increase in cooperation between Taiwan and Germany in the economic, cultural, and educational spheres will help to add even greater depth to the bilateral relationship.
The Germany-Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group delegation was led by Chairman Klaus-Peter Willsch . The visitors were accompanied to the Presidential Office by Deputy Foreign Minister Lyushun Shen (沈呂巡) to meet with President Ma. Also attending the meeting was National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Chih-kung Liu (劉志攻).
【Source: Office of the President】