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London, Aug. 13 (CNA) The United Kingdom looks forward to deepening cooperation with Taiwan in high-tech fields through an enhanced trade partnership to be negotiated, according to a spokesperson for the British Department for Business and Trade.
The spokesperson's remarks came after London and Taipei announced late July that they would start talks later this year on an "Enhanced Trade Partnership" (ETP) to strengthen their bilateral trade relationship.
"The U.K. and Taiwan share deep trade and investment ties, and our Enhanced Trade Partnership will deepen engagement and take advantage of growing opportunities for British businesses," the spokesperson said.
"Our ambition is to increase trade cooperation in high-tech sectors such as digital and clean energy and we will engage with businesses on how we can achieve this together soon," the spokesperson indicated.
The British Department for Business and Trade said on July 26 that the partnership would be underpinned by a memorandum of understanding on bilateral investment, digital trade, energy and the transition to net-zero carbon emissions.
However, the department did not comment on whether the future ETP talks will be included in the agenda of the 26th annual U.K.-Taiwan Trade Talks.
The talks would be held later this year in London and co-hosted by Britain's Minister for International Trade Nigel Huddleston and Taiwan's Deputy Economics Minister Chen Chern-chyi (陳正祺).
According to the latest statistics released on Aug. 1 by the British Department for Business and Trade, bilateral trade between Taiwan and the U.K. reached 8.6 billion pounds (US$10.90 billion) last year.
Overall, since 2013, trade between Taiwan and the U.K. has shown a steady upward trend.
According to the latest data from the second quarter of 2022 to the first quarter of this year, Taiwan is the U.K.'s 32nd largest trading partner, with bilateral trade accounting for 0.5 percent of the U.K.'s total trade.
Taiwan, meanwhile, is the U.K.'s 10th-largest trading partner in Asia.
From January to April in 2023, the total bilateral trade between the U.K. and Taiwan was US$1.97 billion, according to Taiwan government data.
The push for more high-tech cooperation with Taiwan, a semiconductor manufacturing powerhouse, came as the British government launched its national semiconductor strategy in May 2023 which commits a dedicated agency under the Department for Business and Trade to support the international expansion of U.K. companies in the government's priority technology sectors, including semiconductors.
The Department for Business and Trade has listed Taiwan as one of the country's focus markets in the country's Digital Trade Network for Asia Pacific initiative to enhance the ability of British digital companies to export and connect with international customers in the region.
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