Taipei, Dec. 31 (CNA) Taiwan and France have signed an agreement on avoidance of double taxation, which will take effect on Jan. 1, 2011, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the Ministry of Finance (MOF) announced separately Friday.
Michel Lu, Taiwan's representative to France, and Patrick Bonneville, director of the French representative office in Taipei, signed the agreement on Dec. 24, the MOFA said in a statement.
The agreement was screened and passed by the French Parliament on Dec. 21 and approved by Taiwan's Executive Yuan on Dec. 23 before the Christmas Eve signing, according to the MOFA and MOF statements.
France became the 20th country to sign a double taxation agreement with Taiwan.
The MOFA said the pact represented a great step forward for economic and investment relations between Taiwan and France, Taiwan's fifth largest trade partner in Europe.
The agreement is expected to be beneficial to businesses of both sides, helping to attract French investment to Taiwan as well as providing a fair tax environment for Taiwanese businesses in France, the MOF said.
According to the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) , Taiwan's quasi-official trade promotion agency, French exports to Taiwan totaled 1.02 billion euros and imports from Taiwan totaled 2.16 billion euros in 2009.
More than 60 Taiwanese companies have invested in France, including mobile phone maker HTC Corp., computer manufacturers Asustek Computer Inc., BenQ Corp. and First International Computer Inc., and transportation companies such as China Airlines Ltd. and Evergreen Marine Corp.
(By Chris Wang)