Czech Senate president witnesses MOU signings in Taiwan

Taiwan Economics Minister Wang Mei-hua (left) and Czech Senate President Miloš Vystrčil (right) witness the signing of a Taiwan-Czech Republic MOU on smart manufacturing.(CNA)

TAIPEI (CNA) — Czech Senate President Miloš Vystrčil on Monday witnessed the signing of three documents on smart industry cooperation during an economic forum, the first official activity of his six-day visit to Taiwan.

Government and business representatives from both sides signed three memoranda of agreement involving cooperation in smart cities and the Artificial Intelligence of Things (AITO), start-up ecosystems and smart manufacturing.

Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫), head of Taiwan’s National Development Council, and Vystrčil witnessed the signing of the first two memoranda of agreement while Taiwan’s Economics Minister Wang Mei-hua (王美花) and Vystrčil were present at the signing of the third.

Details of the MOUs have not been made public. However, Wang told reporters before the signing that the agreements are expected to deepen cooperation between Taiwan and the Czech Republic with global supply chains facing disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Economics Minister Wang Mei-hua speaks at the forum/ Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Economic Affairs

The signing ceremony was held during a Taiwan-Czech Republic Economic, Trade and Investment Forum, attended by Taiwanese and Czech entrepreneurs to discuss business opportunities in the post-pandemic era.

The discussions involved artificial intelligence, internet of things, green economy, startups, automobiles, information communication technology (ICT) and aerospace industries, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), which organized the forum.

“Although Taiwan and the Czech Republic are far from each other geographically, both countries enjoy close relations,” Wang said in her opening remarks, citing investment by several Taiwanese ICT companies in Czechia as long as 25 years ago.

A few years ago, Taiwanese technology firm Foxconn and Czechia’s KKCG set up a joint venture and opened a data center in Prague, she added.

Wang went on to say that aside from closer relations in business and trade, Taiwan and Czechia share universal values such as democracy, freedom and human rights. Hence, both sides will adhere to these values while pursuing economic growth, she added.

Meanwhile, Vystrčil reiterated that a primary task of any politician is to create a good environment for business through legislation and this is one of the goals for his visit.

Vystrčil said he sees great potential for Czechia-Taiwan cooperation and urged both sides to work to realize that potential through action.

A business matching activity will be held in the afternoon, which is expected to be attended by around 100 business representatives from Taiwan and Czechia. However, the event is not open for media coverage.

Seats at the forum are separated with transparent dividers (CNA)

The 89-member delegation led by Vystrčil arrived in Taipei on Sunday, with all of them testing negative for COVID-19 on Monday. They will stay in Taiwan until Sept. 4.

According to MOEA, Czechia is Taiwan’s fourth largest investment destination in Europe, and Taiwanese businesses in the country have created about 23,000 employment opportunities there.

An agreement between Taiwan and Czechia on the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of tax evasion, signed in December 2017, will take effect on Jan. 1, 2021.