Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2011-09-26-Speech-1-103-000"

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"Mr President, the European Union is Taiwan’s fifth largest trading partner, whereas for the Union, this Asian island ranks fourteenth among its trading partners. Trade between the two parties has increased by 800% in the last decades, with the annual trade volume currently standing at EUR 27.5 billion. Last year alone, trade between the Union and Taiwan grew by 39%. This growth has been boosted by measures such as visa exemption, introduced via the amendment of Regulation (EC) No 539/2001. In spite of this and the fact that the Europe 2020 strategy stresses that the Union needs to step up its trade links with growing and emerging markets, our relations with Taiwan have not reached their full development as far as trade is concerned. It is therefore necessary to bring in new measures to remove the obstacles – including tariffs, trade prohibitions, taxes and duties on luxury products – which currently prevent us from unlocking the full potential of trade with Taiwan. This would be a decisive step towards a dynamic, ambitious free trade agreement, which I support. A free trade agreement is necessary and it will benefit the parties involved. Good trade dialogue is not enough, Commissioner. We need to go much further. Furthermore, no one has the right to veto our relations. The ties between Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China are getting stronger every day, and we, the European Union, have sovereignty to decide, without anyone’s interference, who we negotiate our free trade agreements with."@en1

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