5th Taiwan-Luxembourg Joint Business Council

Trade and economic cooperation

On Thursday 22nd of November, the Chamber of Commerce hosted the 5th Taiwan – Luxembourg Joint Business Council which addressed primarily the cooperation and best practice exchange in the fields of clean technology and energy issues. The Council was followed by individual meetings between Taiwanese and Luxembourg companies.

The Joint Business Council Taiwan-Luxembourg was inaugurated in April 2007 at the initiative of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and the Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce, Taiwan (CNAIC). The purpose of the Joint Business Council is to exchange trade market and economic information and to disseminate to the respective business-communities information on goods, services and partnership possibilities in order to foster trade and economic cooperation between Taiwan and Luxembourg.

Taiwan is a country which has gone through a rapid transition in the 80’s and 90’s. Initially it was a country producing mainly textile and other products of low value added. Then the country radically changed the structure of its economy and within 15 years it became the world largest producer of electronic and IT products. Nowadays 75% of all laptops and 80% of all scanners sold worldwide are products made in Taiwan. Initially Taiwan’s exports were very dependent on the U.S.A and over 50% of their exports went to the United States. Again a structural change took place in their export strategy and Taiwan managed to diversify their export destinations. Today Taiwan’s first customer is Mainland China (37%) and Europe has caught up with the U.S.A (15% each). Taiwan being a country with strong financial reserves allowed its companies to multiply their investments in China. Approximately 1 million Taiwanese expatriates are living in China and are working for some 76.000  companies of Taiwanese origin. The investments of Taiwan in China are close to 200 billion US$ and offer employment to some 8 million Chinese people.

Since the early 80’s, Taiwan played an important role in Luxembourg’s trade relations. Initially they concentrated mainly on steel and steel related products and represented about 80% of our global exports to Taiwan. TradeArbed and Paul Wurth have had representative offices in Taiwan since the mid 80’s. Luxembourg has largely contributed to develop the local steel industry in Taiwan.

When Taiwan entered the European market, Luxembourg became a significant port of entry for Taiwanese IT products. In the mid 90’s up to 17 weekly cargo-flights took place between Taipeh and Luxembourg and half of the Taiwanese IT products airlifted to Europe touched the Luxembourg ground.

The Joint Business Council Taiwan – Luxembourg was instrumental in the signing of a Treaty against double taxation (2011), the establishment of a Luxembourg Trade & Investment Office in Taipeh (2009) and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) by the Taiwanese Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) and the Luxembourg “Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier” (CSSF). Furthermore, the Luxembourg Stock Market lists more than twenty of Taiwan’s largest corporations with a global value of well over 45 Billion US$.