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Representative of German Institute Taipei, Dr. Thomas Prinz, Visited Mayor Ko

Representative of German Institute Taipei, Dr. Thomas Prinz, visited Mayor Ko
In the morning of February 19, 2021, the representative of German Institute Taipei, Dr. Thomas Prinz, led a group to visit Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je, which comprised the Deputy Representative Dagmar Traub-Evans, ‎Executive Director and Delegate of German Industry and Commerce in Taiwan Axel Limberg, Goethe-Institut Taipei Director Theresa Huemmer, and Swedish Chamber of Commerce Taipei Chief Executive Officer Fredrik Boye.
Dr. Prinz stated that in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, international exchange has been reduced. However, Germany has still been proactive in promoting cultural exchanges, such as participating in Taiwan’s book fair. Since Dr. Prinz loves riding the bicycle, he often follows the bikeway from Nangang, where he lives in, to the Taipei Zoo. This route is approximately 70 km, and it is rarely interrupted by motor vehicles. Therefore, he considers it the best bike route. He suggested for the Taipei City Government to promote it. Deputy Mayor Ping-Kuen Tsai responded that the route mentioned, when departing from the Taipei Zoo MRT Station and following the riverside parks, can lead north all the way to Guandu MRT Station, and it is the Blue Line Riverside Park Bike Lane that the Taipei City Government has been actively promoting.
Director Huemmer explained that the mission of the Goethe-Institut Taipei is to promote German and cultural exchange. It was founded in Taipei City 50 years ago. Despite the pandemic, it still holds many German cultural activities. Several European countries have participated in the Speak Dating event, which began in 2017. In 2019, a total of 1,300 people in Taiwan zealously participated in this event. This year in September 2021, it will be held in Songshan Cultural and Creative Park. Deputy Mayor Tsai said that in 2010, he had been to Germany on behalf of Taiwan to cooperate with the Goethe-Institut. When he was the principal of Taipei Municipal Jianguo High School, the high school was the first ever to promote learning German as a second foreign language and held exchanges with Germany. In the future, schools in Taipei City will continue to promote learning German language.
Executive Director Limberg stated that he is glad to see that Taipei City has extensive business ties with Germany. In the future, German Industry and Commerce in Taiwan will continue to hold activities such as Christmas fair and soccer matches for German businesspeople in Taiwan.
Chief Executive Director Boye stated that the Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Taipei aims to promote business cooperation between Sweden and Taipei City. It is currently conducting a mentorship program that enables Taiwanese students or young practitioners to receive mentorship from Swedish executives in the business sector, which also facilitates cultural exchange. He hopes to introduce Swedish culture to Taiwanese people. For example, Sweden has many famous corporations, such as IKEA, Volvo, and Ericsson. He also hopes to promote Taiwanese culture in Sweden. He has often cooperated with the representative of the Taipei Mission in Sweden, Vincent Chin-Hsiang Yao. He would like to establish a direct flight route from Stockholm to Taipei, which will enable deeper interactions between both countries.
Mayor Ko stated that since October 2020, the Taipei City Government’s External Affairs team had proactively visit the diplomatic missions of over 30 countries in Taiwan, and discussed various topics and cooperation with each country’s office in Taiwan to conduct exchange activities. Some of these activities have already been confirmed, including a prom at Zhongshan Hall to be held by Austrian representatives and Yoga Day held by Indian representatives. He hopes to co-promote greater cultural exchange and tourism between European countries and cities and Taipei City in the future.