Taiwan, EU establish high-level dialogue on digital economy

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BRUSSELS (CNA) —Taiwan’s cooperation with the European Union (EU) entered a new chapter earlier this week when the first ever Taiwan-EU Dialogue on Digital Economy (DDE) was held in Brussels, the chief of the National Development Council (NDC) has said.

The two-day meeting that began on June 4 was considered a breakthrough in Taiwan-EU relations because the two sides instituted a high-level process for dialogue, said NDC chief Chen Mei-ling (陳美伶), who co-chaired the meeting.

With the digital economy vital to the future of the high-tech and other industries, Taiwan and the EU held in-depth discussions on industrial digitization, AI development strategy, online platforms, and information security, Chen told CNA in an interview Thursday (local time).

The EU is pushing a Digital Single Market strategy that aims to integrate the domestic markets of its members, while Taiwan’s government is promoting its DIGI+ program focused on transforming Taiwan into a smart country, Chen said.

The common points between the two strategic blueprints enabled the two sides to engage in more substantive exchanges, she said.

On the results of the meeting, Chen said the two sides identified issues to be given priority, and they agreed that the next meeting will be held in Taiwan next year.

Co-chairing the meeting with Chen was Roberto Viola, director general of the Directorate General of Communication, Networks, Content, and Technology at the European Commission.

Aside from the digital dialogue, Chen was able to meet with officials of the EU’s Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers to discuss whether Taiwan’s data protection is adequate in terms of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Last year, Taiwan expressed its intention to seek an EU ruling on the adequacy of its data protection and answered eight of the 18 questions raised by the regional block to clarify Taiwan’s actions in the field.

The remaining 10 questions will be discussed in a series of video conferences currently scheduled for this autumn.

By Tang Pei-chun and Emerson Lim