Meet Startup @TW

Taiwan, Czech Republic team up for startup ecosystem development

Su-Wei Chang

Business Next Media Corp. today (Aug. 31) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Czech-Taiwanese Business Chamber at the Taiwan-Czech Republic Economic, Trade, and Investment Forum in Taipei, pledging to bring the startup ecosystems of the two countries closer together.

The signing ceremony took place in the presence of Miloš Vystrčil, President of the Czech Senate; Wang Mei-Hua, Minister of Economic Affairs (MOEA) in Taiwan; and Kung Ming-Hsin, Minister of the National Development Council in Taiwan.

According to the document, Business Next is inviting Czech startup companies to Meet Taipei, the annual startup exhibition it organizes in November, and helping them connect with their Taiwanese counterparts to explore possible ways of business collaboration.

Katie Chen, CEO of Business Next, said she expects the Taiwan startup ecosystem to be a bridge for Taiwan’s economic cooperation with the Czech Republic, facilitating communication between investors, enterprises, and startup companies from the two countries.

The MoU, along with two others on smart city and smart manufacturing signed in the forum, is a boost to the already-close economic relations between Taiwan and the Czech Republic.

“Despite the geographical distance, Taiwan has had strong ties with the Czech Republic for the past 25 years,” Ms. Wang said in her opening remarks of the forum. “Many Taiwanese ICT companies like Foxconn, for example, have invested and set up operations in the Czech Republic years ago for its high-end labor pool.” Others include laptop makers Asus and Acer.

In 2018, the minister led a delegation to Prague to discuss how Taiwan and the Czech Republic can work together in areas like smart city, circular economy, and green energy.

To encourage trade and investment, the two countries have signed a tax treaty to prevent double taxation in May. Czech Republic is now Taiwan’s fourth largest investment destination in Europe, following Germany, the Netherlands, and the UK, according to statistics from the MOEA.

Vystrčil, in his remarks, said one of the main goals of his six-day visit is to connect Czech and Taiwanese companies and plant the seeds for future collaborations.

“Democracy and freedom are the foundation for prosperity,” he said. Sharing similar values, Vystrčil believes the two countries have great potential to deepen cooperation in trade and investment.

The Taiwan-Czech Republic forum was held a day after the Czech Senate leader arrived in Taiwan, which started the highest level visit to Taiwan by Czech government officials in the history of the bilateral relations between the two countries.

Yesterday, Vystrčil and his delegation that includes Zdeněk Hřib, Mayor of Prague, as well as fellow lawmakers and business representatives were received at Taipei Taoyuan International Airport by Joseph Wu, Minister of Foreign Affairs. They are scheduled to meet with President Tsai and members of the Cabinet in the following days of their trip.


Bryan Chou

Bryan Chou is a Taiwan-based and born journalist who writes about innovation and entrepreneurship for Business Next and Meet. Over the past five years, he has written for a student press, translated numerous magazine pieces, and worked as an intern in two startups. He believes what shapes him into who he is today is not only these experiences but the people he has interacted with and the stories he has learned from them.

He has a BA in Foreign languages and literatures from NTU. After graduation, he spent a year in Prague, traveling extensively around Europe to learn about the history and culture of the region from local people. Currently based in Taipei, he hopes to present the best of Taiwan to the world.