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Trade between the EU and Taiwan has increased more than eightfold over the past two decades. However, the EU has a trade deficit with Taiwan, which it would like to tackle.

Taiwan has been a WTO member since 2002, and in December 2008 the country fulfilled an important WTO accession commitment by joining the WTO Government Procurement Agreement.

Trade picture

  • Taiwan was the EU’s 15th trading partner in 2018.
  • The EU is Taiwan's fourth trade partner after China, the USA and Japan. In 2018, Taiwan was the EU's seventh largest trading partner in Asia.
  • EU exports to Taiwan of semi-finished products, machinery and transport equipment confirm the EU's position as important industrial supplier for Taiwan's industry.
  • In terms of the size of exports and imports, office telecommunications equipment, machinery, transport equipment and chemicals are by far the most traded commodities between the EU and Taiwan.
  • Taiwanese imports of services from the EU are dominated by transportation, business, travel and financial services. Taiwanese exports of services to the EU are dominated by sea transportation and business services.
  • Over the past years the EU has been the major source of foreign direct investment in Taiwan. On the other hand, Taiwanese investments in the EU represent only some 2% of Taiwan’s global FDI stocks. .
  • The EU has a trade deficit with Taiwan. This is mainly due to the EU's export deficit in goods, not offset by its export surplus in services.
  • Given that the EU is the world's biggest exporter of agricultural products, EU agricultural exports to Taiwan are significantly low. EU agricultural exporters perceive market access as a major hurdle in Taiwan.

EU-Taiwan: Trade in goods

Trade in goods 2018-2020, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2018 26.8 20.1 -6.7
2019 27.4 23.6 -3.8
2020 26.4 22.9 -3.5

EU-Taiwan: Trade in services

Trade in services 2017-2019, € billions
Year EU imports EU exports Balance
2017 3.2 4.3 1.1
2018 3.8 5.2 1.4
2019 4.1 5.4 1.3

EU-Taiwan: Foreign direct investment

Foreign direct investment 2019, € billions
Year Inward stocks Outward stocks Balance
2019 2.5 21.9 19.4

Unless otherwise mentioned “EU” concerns for all indicated years the current European Union of 27 Member States.

Date of retrieval: 12/04/2021

More statistics on Taiwan

EU and Taiwan

Following the 'one-China' policy, the EU does not have diplomatic or formal political relations with Taiwan. However, the EU supports Taiwan's meaningful participation in multilateral fora, especially where Taiwan's participation is important to the EU and global interests.

The EU and Taiwan have a structured dialogue. In the annual consultations, all trade policy issues are addressed, including WTO obligations and issues of bilateral concern.

  • Within this consultation mechanism, four technical working groups also deal with issues relating to intellectual property rights, technical barreirs to trade (including automotive), pharmaceutical and sanitary and phyto-sanitary rules.

The normalization of Cross Straits relations and the further liberalization of economic, trade and investment links between Taiwan and the mainland - in particular with the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement between the People's Republic of China and Taiwan that was signed in June 2010 – is having a positive impact on Taiwan's economy.

Trading with Taiwan