On December 8, Minister of the National Development Council (NDC), Dr. Ming-Hsin Kung, together with Director-General of the Directorate-General for Communication, Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT) at the European Commission, Dr. Roberto Viola, convened the 2nd
Taiwan-EU Dialogue on Digital Economy (DDE) via videoconference. During the Dialogue, representatives from both sides conducted comprehensive policy discussions on major issues of digital economy development; the meeting successfully concluded, and further enhanced the partnership on promoting global digital economy between the two parties.
The Taiwan-EU DDE is the Ministerial level G2G Dialogue on digital economy development. The delegation from Taiwan to the 2nd
Taiwan-EU DDE was headed by Minister of the NDC, Dr. Ming-Hsin Kung, with participation by representatives from NDC, Department of Cybersecurity / Office of Science and Technology of the Executive Yuan; Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Taipei Representative Office in the European Union and Belgium, Ministry of Health and Welfare (National Health Insurance Administration, NHIA), Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Economic Affairs (Industrial Development Bureau, and Department of Industrial Technology), Industrial Technology Research Institute, Institute for Information Industry, Taiwan Association of Information and Communication Standards, and Taiwan Blockchain Alliance; the Representative of Taipei Representative Office in the European Union and Belgium, Dr. Min-Yen Tsai, also engaged throughout the meeting and spoke at the closing.
Deputy Director-General of the DG CONNECT Khalil Rouhana co-chaired with meeting, with participation by representatives from DG CONNECT, the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW), the Directorate-General for Trade (DG TRADE), European External Action Service (EEAS), and European Economic and Trade Office (EETO). The Head of EETO in Taiwan Filip Grzegorzewski and his colleagues also attended the Dialogue.
The EU opening speech praised the long standing cooperation with Taiwan to which the EU attaches high importance. It was also stated that COVID-19 pandemic has promoted unprecedented progress in the digital economy and data economy, and also highlighted the importance of establishing public-private partnerships and strengthening international cooperation and connections for economic development and growth. In the post-pandemic era, the EU’s “Recovery Plan for Europe” has focused not only for short-term economic revitalization, but also for the next-generation development; with digital and green transformation being two major priorities, the EU will expand cross-border cooperation with partnership between the public and private sectors. It was hoped that the results of today's exchanges can lay an even solid foundation for the bilateral cooperation on AI, 5G/6G, cybersecurity, micro-electronics and smart systems in the future. Both sides looked forward to having the 3rd
DDE held next year in the physical form.
In the Taiwan chief delegate Minister Kung’s opening remarks, he pointed out that at this difficult time, it was all the more precious that Taiwan and EU could hold this virtual Dialogue to exchange views and best practices on digital economy development. With the deployment of prevention measures in advance, Taiwan is doing relatively well in pandemic containment and thus is dealing with a smaller economic impact, and Taiwan is willing to share our successful experience with the world. Minister Kung pointed out that global economic and trade activities this year have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, driven by the application of digital technology, the transformation of consumers and service providers moving from offline to online has also been accelerated, profoundly changing the pattern of global economic development and people’s work and lifestyle. However, the pandemic is still one of the biggest global economic risks, and governments around the world need to continue their endeavors for strong policy actions and cross-border cooperation to fight against the uncertainties.
In echoing the EU priority given to digital and green transformation, and that the EU would expand cross-border cooperation with partnership between the public and private sectors, Minister Kung said that these have come in line with the priority of Taiwan’s future national development.
Minister Kung also emphasized that while the world economy is gradually recovering from the pandemic impact, governments all over the world need to not only assist enterprises to resume their activities in production and investment as soon as possible, but also seize the opportunity to accelerate economic restructuring and digital transformation, with the aim of forging a more resilient and inclusive digital nation.
In this regard, Taiwan and the EU share the same vision. Taiwan is actively planning the next phase development strategies of the "Digital Nation and Innovative Economic Development Program (DIGI+)", promoting six core strategic industries including information and digital industries, outstanding cybersecurity industries, precision health industries; together with people-centered digital government services. The government is striving to build Taiwan into an innovative, inclusive, and sustainable smart nation.
The EU has released a series of strategic plans for shaping Europe’s digital future this year, covering the development and legislative framework in data utilization, artificial intelligence (AI), digital platform governance, among others. The EU has also proposed the guiding principle for next decade’s digital development, "Europe's Digital Decade", to ensure Europe's leading position in global digital development. Taiwan is confident to become an important partner for the EU on the basis of complementarity, and believes that through cooperation between the two parties, both Taiwan and EU can turn crisis into opportunity and stand out in the new global economic arena.
In this Dialogue, representatives of both sides exchanged views on overall digital policies to promote digital economy, and discussed on major topics such as research and technology cooperation, blockchain, AI, cybersecurity certification, data economy, and digital connectivity, as follows:
- Research & Technology Cooperation: Taiwan and the EU have a solid foundation for long-term cooperation in the field of scientific research, and each has its own fields of expertise. The two parties exchanged their current status of technology and industrial applications in AI, 5G/beyond 5G, micro-electronics and smart systems, and expressed high interests in further joint cooperation on advance research in the aforementioned fields (including AI chip design and AI architecture, Open RAN), industrial integration applications (such as smart manufacturing), and the cultivation and exchange of talents.
- Blockchain: Taiwan and the EU exchanged views on the development of blockchain related industries and the state of international cooperation on blockchain. The EU emphasized that they had cooperated with major countries such as Canada, Japan and Australia to promote EU blockchain initiatives and also included Taiwan as a partner. The two sides also expressed intention to form a closer partnership in promoting blockchain applications and governance through EU’s blockchain platform “International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications” (INATBA).
- AI: Taiwan and the EU discussed policies and strategies for promoting AI applications, and how to create the ecosystem of excellence and trust for AI. The two sides agreed that expanding international cooperation in the field of AI is critical to accelerating the development of AI, and will jointly promote the establishment of global technical standards for interoperable and trustworthy AI.
- Cybersecurity Certification: Taiwan and the EU exchanged views on the current status and plans of each other’s information security industry certification system. The EU side also briefed on the key points of the EU Cybersecurity Strategy to be announced. The EU emphasized that it was a good timing for both sides to start cooperation since the EU just embarked on its cybersecurity certification recently, and the two sides agreed to cooperate on the establishment of information security standards and certification mechanisms in IoT and other fields.
- Data Economy: In the digital age, data is considered a strategic asset. Taiwan has considerable practical experience in big data applications, such as e-maps for face mask and online database of actual prices of real estate transactions. The EU has put forward a strategy for developing an European data economy, and a regulatory framework and principles with European values to promote data sharing across sectors and borders. Both sides agreed to continue to jointly explore the best way and practices to establish a more favorable environment for the development of data economy.
- Digital Connectivity between Europe and Asia: The EU side elaborated on its Digital Connectivity between Europe and Asia to facilitate economic prosperity, security and resilience in Europe and Asia; Taiwan side shared the results of applying the national health insurance database and using emerging technologies for medical care and pandemic prevention, and actively promoted the “New Southbound Policy” through pandemic-prevention experience sharing. The two parties will continue to jointly explore cooperation strategies and projects, and develop greater partnerships in multilateral arena or with third countries, and to strengthen the digital connection between Europe and Asia.
The NDC stated that Taiwan and the EU have respective advantages on promoting digital economy, and the differences also brings plenty of cooperative opportunities for both sides. Based on the fruitful results of the 1st
DDE, Taiwan and the EU continued to expand policy exchange on digital economy development through the Dialogue, for better understanding the latest digital economy policy and development progress of both sides. Taiwan and the EU recognized that DDE can serve as a platform to strengthen the medium- and long-term bilateral cooperation on digital economy, both sides will continue to hold the dialogue on a regular basis.
Connie Chang, Director General, Department of Overall Planning, National Development Council