UK exports to Taiwan hit record high in 2010


TAIPEI–Exports of goods and services from the United Kingdom to Taiwan hit a record high in 2010, making the island one of the markets which grew at the fastest pace for the U.K. in the past two years, according to the British Trade & Cultural Office in Taipei (BTCO).

The BTCO citied statistics compiled by the U.K. Office for National Statistics as saying the U.K.’s exports to Taiwan in 2010 rose 55 percent from a year earlier to 2.26 billion British pounds (NT$107.6 billion), beating the previous high of 1.58 billion British pounds recorded in 2007.

The BTCO said exports of the U.K. goods to Taiwan also hit a record high of 1.12 billion British pounds in 2010, up 40 percent from a year earlier, while its exports of services to Taiwan rose 73 percent to reach 1.15 billion British pounds.

It was the first time that U.K. exports of services to Taiwan topped the sales of goods to the island, the BTCO said. The BTCO said Taiwan is now the 29th-largest market for U.K. services, up 11 places in one year, adding bilateral trade between Britain and Taiwan has continued strongly in the first nine months of this year.

Currently, the U.K. remains the world’s second-largest service exporter and the sixth-largest trading nation.

Director of the BTCO David Campbell said he welcomed the figures regarding the trade with Taiwan.

“Over the last two years, Taiwan has been among the U.K.’s fastest-growing major export markets not only in Asia, but the world,” Campbell said. “The sharp rise in service exports reflects both the strengths of the U.K. economy and the rapidly diversifying nature of Taiwan’s.”

Therefore, Campbell said, more and more British companies are choosing Taiwan as a destination for their business and research hubs in the Asia Pacific region, while Taiwanese enterprises are using the U.K. as a base for their global expansion.

With bilateral business ties between London and Taipei growing, Taiwan’s smartphone maker HTC Corp. has set up its new European and U.K. headquarters in Slough of England, while Holy Stone Enterprise has chosen the U.K. to open the European headquarters for its unit Holy Stone Healthcare, the BTCO said.

Meanwhile, among the U.K. firms, Arup, an engineering, design, planning, project management and consulting services provider, opened its new office in Taipei and Oxford Instruments worked with Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute to establish a research and development center in Taiwan earlier this year, the BTCO added.