This chapter examines the EU’s engagement with the Asia Pacific by focusing on four regional organizations, ASEAN, and related fora: the ARF and ASEM, SAARC, APEC and PIF. The nature and progress of the EU’s engagements differ. The variation demonstrates that the degree of institutionalization and regionbuilding of its counterpart heavily impacts the EU’s approach. It also points to the difficulties the EU experiences in trying to adapt and maintain a one size fits all approach. While consistency and coherence are desirable, to a large extent success will be dependent on the capacity of the counterpart, which explains the geometry of the EU’s engagements with the Asia Pacific region.
In its latest trade strategy document, released in 2015, Trade for All, the EU declared that ‘[B]uilding on the investment provisions under negotiation with China, the EU will explore launching negotiations on investment with Hong Kong and Taiwan.’ Such a proposal has been welcomed by Taiwan, but the road toward an EU-Taiwan bilateral investment treatment (BIT) is destined to be long and tortuous. In view of these uncertainties, this chapter aims to probe the possible course of the EU-Taiwan BIT negotiations and outline a roadmap. The chapter first portrays current political and economic relations between the EU and Taiwan and then explores the possible form of the envisaged EU-Taiwan BIT by examining such critical issues as the contracting parties, the design of investor-State dispute settlement, the investment court proposal by the EU and the sequence in which the EU might conclude BITs with China and Taiwan.