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Vincent Siew congratulates new BCCT-UKTI partnership
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-01-23 11:57 PM
The British Chamber of Commerce in Taipei (BCCT) hosted an agreement signing ceremony Thursday at its office in Taipei in celebration of an agreement signed last December with UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) in a bid to promote trade as well as investment both in the UK and in Taiwan. Former Vice President Vincent Siew and Minister without Portfolio Chi Schive were invited to address the event. Both Siew and Schive congratulated the BCCT and UKTI for making this ground-breaking partnership. They said they are looking forward to seeing this new partnership could bring more benefits to Taiwan’s small- and mid-sized enterprises.

In addition to promoting Taiwan’s free economic pilot zones as bringing many economic benefits to the country and creating great value for foreign investors, Siew also spoke of potential joint cooperation on renminbi (RMB) businesses between UK and Taiwan. Siew added that both sides have reached consensus to develop complimentary RMB offshore markets in the future and expand the RMB businesses with Taiwan’s large RMB deposits and London’s diverse RMB financial products and services.

Under the new partnership, BCCT has implemented an Advisor Network to put UK companies looking to do business in Taiwan in touch with existing British and Taiwanese companies in the market. BCCT has also established six industry-specific committees (Financial Services, Education & Culture, Consumer & Retail, Healthcare, Rail & Infrastructure, and Hospitality/Leisure/Tourism) to discuss key business issues in these sectors, according to a statement from BCCT.

The document was symbolically signed between BCCT Chairman Ajay Kanwal, also the CEO of Standard Chartered Bank (Taiwan), and British Trade and Cultural Office (BTCO) Director Chris Wood in the presence of a number of high-ranking businessmen and officials in Taiwan, including Siew. Ajay Kanwal said that the collaboration between the BCCT and UKTI can promote UK business interest in Taiwan and the agreement is a sign of strong business and cultural friendships between both sides. Kanwal described the signing as the most historical moment in the BCCT’s 20 year history in Taiwan.

Speaking in his opening remarks, BTCO Director Chris Wood pointed out that the aim of BTCO and BCCT was to assist small and medium British enterprises to do business in Taiwan, and such initiative was a really important step to boosting bilateral UK-Taiwan trade opportunities.

The UK government’s vision is to connect UK business better to the world’s top commercial markets and build a global accredited network of business-backed and government-supported overseas organisations supporting UK business. Specifically, UK trade objectives are to help 50,000 SMEs export and generate £10 billion (NT$ 496 billion) of business from high-value opportunities overseas by 2014-15. Taiwan is a leading market under this initiative, and BCCT and BTCO have reached an agreement for the Chamber to provide business support to incoming UK companies on behalf of BTCO and UKTI. Ultimately, this agreement will promote bilateral trade and investment between the UK and Taiwan, enhancing the economy in both markets.

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