His Majesty’s Trade Commissioner (HMTC) for Asia Pacific, Martin Kent is currently in Taiwan conducting a 5-day visit to broaden and deepen trade and investment links between the UK and Taiwan.
The key purpose of the visit is to meet with Taiwan’s International Trade Administration of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, to prepare discussion topics for the 26th annual UK-Taiwan Trade Talks due to take place in London in November. HMTC will also meet with Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs, Chern-Chyi Chen, who will co-chair the Trade Talks alongside Nigel Huddleston, the UK’s Minister for International Trade at the Department for Business and Trade. He will also meet with Minister without Portfolio and Chief Trade Negotiator, John Deng to continue talks on the UK-Taiwan Enhanced Trade Partnership (ETP) announced earlier this year.
During his visit, HMTC will meet with key representatives of UK businesses in Taiwan to understand the market opportunities, as well as key Taiwanese companies, including China Airlines and GlobalWafers to explore collaboration.
HMTC will also meet with Taiwan’s Smart Capital Investors’ Club to share more about the UK as Europe’s most popular investment destination. The UK has long been at the forefront of global exploration, invention and innovation. World-leading companies choose the UK as a place to invest, research, manufacture and grow. Global multinationals have created more subsidiaries in the UK (28,707) than anywhere else, outside of China and the USA. In November, the UK will host its second Global Investment Summit, which will bring more than 200 of the world’s highest profile investors, CEOs and financiers to showcase the UK as a world leading investment destination.
The UK and Taiwan already have a thriving trade relationship based on collaboration in key areas such as offshore wind. Through this visit and wider engagement we are broadening this to include new areas in the technology-related sectors, including semiconductors. The UK has a long and exceptional history attracting foreign direct investments to its tech sector, which is worth over $1 trillion. It is only the third country globally to reach this landmark valuation, and has produced more unicorns than any other European country at over 160. The UK’s startup ecosystem also ranks the first in Europe and 3rd globally in terms of VC investment raised. There are more than 180 Taiwanese companies established in the UK.
The UK-Taiwan bilateral trade and investment relationship is going from strength-to-strength with total trade in goods and services reaching £8.6 billion in 2022. Total UK exports to Taiwan in 2022 hit £3.9 billion, with an 18.2% year-on-year increase in goods exports. Taiwan is now the UK’s 5th largest trading partner in the Asia Pacific region, and the UK is Taiwan’s 3rd largest trading partner in Europe.
Martin Kent, His Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific, said:
I look forward to promoting UK-Taiwan trade growth from its existing bilateral level of £8.6 billion per year using the upcoming Trade Talks and Enhanced Trade Partnership as a catalyst. I am also prioritising promoting investment into our world-leading UK clean growth sector, as well as exploring broader partnerships in science, tech, research and development.
John Dennis, Representative at the British Office Taipei said:
Trade & investment play an enormous part in the bilateral partnership between the UK and Taiwan, and I am delighted to welcome Martin Kent, His Majesty’s Trade Commissioner to Taiwan. We have huge momentum to deliver economic growth for both the UK and Taiwan, and the visit is another testament to the importance of our partnership to maximise opportunities and tackle current challenges together.
Martin Kent has been appointed as His Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Asia Pacific on 18 September 2023, joining a team of nine HM Trade Commissioners encouraging UK trade and investment and promoting Global Britain across the world. See the announcement at GOV.UK
Martin Kent’s biography
‘Unicorn’ is the term used in the venture capital industry to describe a startup company with a value of over $1 billion.