2016 AmCham Internship Reflections: Part 3

AmCham Summer Interns Reflect on their Experience

Each summer, AmCham Taipei’s Publications and Communications Department offers internships to several outstanding students at foreign universities to serve on the Taiwan Business TOPICS or help with the Chamber’s website and posts on social media. We asked members of the 2016 contingent to share their thoughts about the experience. 

florian-paschka

 

Florian Paschka, Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW)

One and a half years ago, I had to make a decision where to go on my exchange year abroad. One region which was always very interesting to me happened to be East Asia. I decided to go to Taiwan and to study at National Taiwan University. I had a great time getting to know a new culture.

Taiwan offers countless opportunities to travel within the country and abroad due to its central location. Two of the nicest places I have been to in Taiwan were Sun Moon Lake and Taroko National Park. The areas not only offer astounding hikes and excellent destinations best reached by scooter, but also a lot of cultural aspects with aboriginal tribes living there. During my time in Taiwan, I also sought to experience other countries and traveled to Japan, Singapore, China, Thailand and the Philippines. Every place had their own advantages. For example, I enjoyed Tokyo’s busy nightlife and the Philippines’ remote islands and beautiful beaches.

After studying and traveling, I wanted to experience what working in an Asian country feels like. AmCham offered me the opportunity to work in its communications department. I enjoyed the friendly and open company culture and got along well with the other interns also working there at the same time. My main responsibility included analyzing the performance of the website and the social media channels, as well as posting articles on the website and creating marketing emails. My supervisor was very flexible and gave me tasks in the areas I enjoyed most. Moreover, I always got support if I had any questions. The internship was a great end to an amazing year abroad.

2016 AmCham Internship Reflections: Part 2

AmCham Summer Interns Reflect on their Experience

Each summer, AmCham Taipei’s Publications and Communications Department offers internships to several outstanding students at foreign universities to serve on the Taiwan Business TOPICS or help with the Chamber’s website and posts on social media. We asked members of the 2016 contingent to share their thoughts about the experience. 

alex-melnik

 Alexander Melnik, University of Southern California

Spending two months in Taiwan was an unforgettable experience. This summer, I interned for AmCham as a Digital Media and Publications intern and had the chance to contribute to several projects. One of these was the AmCham blog, where I wrote posts, created graphics, and publicized content on social media. I also attended several important events, including AmCham’s White Paper luncheon and an international energy conference. Additionally, I examined Taiwan’s social atmosphere through a TOPICS article in which I explain Taiwan’s progressive LGBT stance and the prospects of marriage-equality legislation.

A highlight of my experience was getting lunch every day with fellow interns and AmCham team members. Taipei is filled with many restaurants, so there were some weeks when I went to a new place every day! These lunch breaks were a great time to try new foods, get to know co-workers, and explore Taipei. I also enjoyed attending AmCham events, such as the presentation on CRISPR, a cutting-edge biotechnology that could completely revolutionize how we combat cancer and diseases.

This internship has left me with a great impression of Taiwan as a wonderful environment in which to visit, work, and live. I can’t think of another place with such delicious and inexpensive food – especially boba (bubble tea)! – extremely friendly people, and an abundance of scenery and culture. I look forward to coming back in the future!

 

2016 Annual General Meeting

On Tuesday, November 22, AmCham Taipei held its 2016 Annual General Meeting, where members and guests gathered to vote for the next year’s Board of Governors, as well as changes to the Chamber’s Articles of Association.

AmCham Chairman Dan Silver delivers the 2016 Year in Review Presentation at the Annual General Meeting

AmCham Chairman Dan Silver delivers the 2016 Year in Review Presentation at the Annual General Meeting

Year in Review

Following President Andrea Wu’s opening remarks, Chairman Dan Silver delivered a presentation summarizing the Chamber’s collective achievements, milestones and activities from the past year. View the full presentation below.

Keynote Speech

This year, we were honored to have Mr. Robin Ren, Vice President and Head of Asia Pacific at Tesla Motors, as our keynote speaker. Ren passionately explained Tesla’s vision for a sustainable future to guests in attendance, highlighting the achievements of Elon Musk’s automotive enterprise and calling for a collective effort to create a cleaner and greener world through technological advancement.

Robin Ren, Vice President and Head of Asia Pacific at Tesla Motors, gives a talk on Tesla's vision for a sustainable future to guests at the 2016 AGM.

Robin Ren, Vice President and Head of Asia Pacific at Tesla Motors, gives a talk on Tesla’s vision for a sustainable future to guests at the 2016 AGM.

 

Election Results

We give our sincere thanks to all of our voting members who attended and offered their support. With your help, we reached a quorum, and held a successful election.

img_3396

The board structure page on our site will be updated in January to reflect the status of incoming and outgoing board members. A brief summary of results follows – you may download the complete announcement by clicking here.

2017-2018 Governors (Name, Company)

  • Sammy Carolus, Grand Hyatt Taipei
  • Albert Chang, McKinsey & Company, Inc.
  • Margaret Driscoll, Eli Lilly and Company (Taiwan), Inc.
  • Tim Ju, Ford Lio Ho Motor Co., Ltd.
  • Seraphim Ma, Baker & McKenzie
  • Rodney Morgan, Micron Tech Asia Pacific Taiwan
  • Vincent Shih, Microsoft Taiwan Corp.

2017 Supervisors (Name, Company) 

  • Anita Chen, Independent Marketing & Research Limited
  • Nick Chen, DHL Express (Taiwan) Corp.
  • Bimal Kapoor, National Basketball Association
  • Carl Lin, Procter & Gamble Taiwan Ltd.
  • Raghavendra Shenoy, Johnson & Johnson Medical Taiwan Ltd.
Current board members, along with Chairman Dan Silver, President Andrea Wu, present guest speaker Robin Ren of Tesla with a token of appreciation following his keynote presentation.

Current board members, along with Chairman Dan Silver, President Andrea Wu, present guest speaker Robin Ren of Tesla with a token of appreciation following his keynote presentation.

2016 AmCham Internship Reflections: Part 1

AmCham Summer Interns Reflect on their Experience

Each summer, AmCham Taipei’s Publications and Communications Department offers internships to several outstanding students at foreign universities to serve on the Taiwan Business TOPICS or help with the Chamber’s website and posts on social media. We asked members of the 2016 contingent to share their thoughts about the experience. 

 nina-sheridan

Nina Sheridan, Princeton University

I arrived in Taiwan in June after my freshman year at Princeton with an interest in journalism and love of the Chinese language. I was assigned an article my first day of work, and from there was given freedom to do my own research, set up interviews, and form opinions on the state of the fashion design industry in Taiwan. I made my first phone call in Chinese the second week, and by the end of the summer I felt comfortable talking to taxi drivers in the language on my way to and from interviews.

Throughout my eight weeks working on AmCham’s TOPICS magazine, I was given the opportunity to explore in depth the design and fast-food industries. I also sat in on talks about the future of virtual reality, the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, and Taiwan’s energy sector. I transcribed interviews on subjects ranging from CrossFit to MOOCs (massive open online courses) to wind energy.

Every day at work I learned something new about Taiwan. I ate lunch at a different place almost every day with the other interns. I moved from hostel to hostel and continuously explored new neighborhoods. Working at AmCham showed me how industry, Chinese language, and journalism can intersect. I didn’t know what to expect when I came to Taiwan, but I feel truly lucky to have spent two months learning about Taiwan’s culture and economy.

 

“Disco Fever” at the American Ball 2016

116a4875_compressed

The Grand Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt Taipei rocked with a disco beat on the evening of October 29 as the American Ball, co-organized by AmCham Taipei and the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), again confirmed its reputation as the social event of the year for the Taipei international community.

The theme of “Disco Fever” was evident in the attire of the nearly 400 attendees (many of whom had evidently dug through drawers and closets to find garments with a ‘70s flair), the glitzy décor of the room thanks to the work of the Feng Ze Design Center, the creative entertainment routines devised by the VMJ dance troupe, and the choice of music by energetic vocalist Dooley and his band, DJ Rick Kraft, and the talented husband-and-wife, song-and-dance team of Richard Lin and Cindy Shueh Lin (both former AmCham board members).

116a5401_compressed

The Master of Ceremonies was Mark Lewis, taking a break from his day job at the AIT Commercial Section, and AmCham Acting Chair Libby Driscoll and President Andrea Wu, accompanied by AIT Director Kin Moy and Deputy Director Rob Forden, greeted the attendees on behalf of the host organizations.

The evening began with a welcoming drink of Bottega Brut Millesimato sparkling wine courtesy of Fratello F&B Int. Ltd. The gourmet five-course meal that followed featured a deconstructed Cobb salad, lentil soup with smoked duck, Isphahan sorbet, roasted U.S. beef tenderloin with wagyu beef patty, and a Funky Ball containing dark chocolate mousse, hazelnut, and popcorn. The dinner was accompanied by Caruso Cusora Bianco Sicilia and Manin Reforsco Rosso wines (from Fratello) and Johnnie Walker Double Black (from Diageo). Cocktails and Guinness stout were available at the bar.

View the full photo gallery here.

 

116a5029_compressed

The event was made possible by the generosity of a number of sponsoring companies. These included Grand Prix Sponsor United Airlines; Glitter Sponsor Volkswagen LCV Taiwan; Wine & Liquor Sponsors Diageo and Fratello; Gold Sponsors HSBC, Grand Hyatt Taipei, and Versum Materials; Silver Sponsors Abbott, BlackRock, Corning, and McDonald’s; and Décor Sponsor JTI.

Attractive raffle prizes added to the excitement of the evening. The grand prize was two United Airlines business-class tickets to San Francisco combined with a three-night stay at the Grand Hyatt San Francisco. Other gift sponsors were 3M, Ever Rich, Fox International, Grand Hyatt, Hotel Eclat Taipei, The Landis Taipei, Mandarin Oriental Taipei, Mellow Fields Taipei, Palais de Chine, The Place Tainan, Procter & Gamble, Regent Taipei, Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel, The Sherwood Taipei, and Westin Taipei.

116a4897

Joint Luncheon: Workplace Design – Health & Wellness Strategies for the Office

Modern workplace design is all about designing for people.

More employers are recognizing that taking care of their employees’ wants and needs means a healthier, happier workplace and, in turn, increased productivity, higher retention and an improved bottom line.

The aim of wellness-based workplace design is to create an office evironment where employees are enabled to work more productively and collaborate with ease. Experts say it’s time to move in these design directions to keep workers engaged, productive, and to get the most out of your office space.

On November 11, the AmCham Human Resources, Sustainable Development, and Infrastructure Committees jointly hosted a workshop on the topic of Workplace Design.

Special Guest speakers Tony Armstrong and Victoria Gilbert from International WELL Building Institute introduced members and guests to the core concepts of wellness-based workplace design, bringing them up to speed on the latest trends, standards, and strategies that can be utilized to achive optimal results.

Special Thanks to SL+A for covering expenses in bringing the speakers to Taiwan.

To view all upcoming events, visit our Events page by clicking here.

 

APCAC Appeals to Congressional Leadership to Approve TPP by Year’s End

Signed by 25 American Chambers of Commerce in Asia-Pacific, a letter demonstrating unprecedented unity and urgency was addressed to the Leadership of the U.S. Congress urging them to ratify the TPP agreement before the end of 2016.

APCAC’s collective membership represents more than 15,000 companies, 50,000 overseas American workers, and annual trade and investment volumes exceeding US$600 billion.

The letter highlights five key areas that TPP would address, enabling U.S. companies to compete against formidable Asian and European multinationals in the Asia-Pacific Region:

  1. Improving market share in Asian markets and supply chains
  2. Equalizing existing disadvantages from Asian Free Trade Agreements (FTA’s)
  3. Eliminating barriers that undermine U.S. innovations and standards
  4. Protecting opportunities in emerging markets
  5. Enhancing opportunities to shape positive outcomes.

Click here to read and download the full letter.

 

 

Tax Luncheon: U.S. Income Tax Compliance & Reporting

U.S. citizens and green card holders must report their worldwide income and file a variety of reporting forms with the IRS to disclose their interests in foreign bank accounts, trusts and corporations. Failure to file such reporting forms can subject U.S. taxpayers to significant civil and potentially criminal liability.

On October 27, the AmCham Taipei Tax Committee invited Christopher Karachale, Attorney and Partner, Hanson Bridgett LLP and Raymond Leung, Certified public accountant and a partner, Leung, Louie, lp & Co. LLP to give AmCham members and guests a detailed explanation of the responsibilities faced by U.S. taxpayes living abroad.

img_2821

Various programs exist allowing U.S. taxpayers the opportunity to come into compliance with their reporting responsibilities. The presentation will describe these programs and the various requirements for individuals to come into compliance with their U.S. tax reporting responsibilities.

Expatriate U.S. taxpayers and non-U.S. individuals are increasingly interested in investing in U.S. businesses and real estate. In addition to tax reporting responsibilities, the presentation will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the different entity structures foreign investors may consider for their U.S. investments.

To browse or register for all upcoming AmCham Events, click here.

img_2782

AmCham Holds Meetings with Members of Congress

Congressman David Schweikert (R-AZ), accompanied by his wife Joyce and research assistant Katherine Duveneck, paid a visit to AmCham Taipei on October 20 as part of a week-long stay in Taiwan. Although Schweikert has been a longtime supporter of strong U.S.-Taiwan relations, this was the first time for him to come to Taiwan.

Currently in his third term in Congress, Schweikert serves on the Financial Services Committee. His discussion with AmCham Senior Director Don Shapiro and Senior Director for Government and Public Affairs Amy Chang centered largely on trade and energy issues. The Congressman said he is a firm proponent of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but is unsure in the current political atmosphere in the United States whether the TPP will receive Congressional endorsement. He expressed regret that the major U.S. business organizations did not make a stronger early push for TPP, giving its opponents the opportunity to shape public opinion.

On energy, Schweikert said it is important to make optimum use of all forms of available energy, including nuclear as an efficient and non-polluting source. He said he hopes to encourage cooperation between Taiwan and Arizona companies for the developent of renewable energy resources here, especially solar.

Earlier in the month, Congressman Joe Barton (R-TX) was in Taiwan, and Don Shapiro represented AmCham in attending a dinner held in his honor by Foreign Minister David Lee.

AmCham Meets with New AIT Chairman

img_2580

During his first visit to Taiwan in his new capacity as the U.S.-based chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), Ambassador James Moriarty met over breakfast with representatives of AmCham Taipei and various of the Chamber’s committees and advocacy groups for a briefing on issues of concern to the U.S. business community in Taiwan. In remarks to the group, Moriarty cited the impressive changes in Taiwan since he was based here in the 1990s, especially the maturation of Taiwan’s democracy.

Also attending the meeting were AIT Deputy Director Robert Forden, who discussed the recent TIFA Council bilateral trade meeting in Washington, and representatives from AIT’s Economic and Commercial Sections.

The issues mentioned by the AmCham leaders included:

  • Technology: The importance of effective protection of propietary technology, continuing smooth cross-Strait interaction under ECFA, ensuring cybersecurity, and establishing a sound data management sysem within government.
  • Financial services: Tax reform, pension reform, and arrangements to permit domestic insurance companies to invest in infrastructure development to relieve pressure on the government budget.
  • Infrastructure: Electricity deregulation and changes in government procurement procedures to encourage more foreign investment in construction and engineering services.
  • Defense: Determining how foreign suppliers can support Taiwan’s planned efforts to build up the indigenous defense industry.
  • Retail: Protecting food safety without creating unnecessary regulatory burdens for manufacturers and importers.
  • Investment: Promoting transparency, consistency, and predictability in the investment approval proess.
  • Other: Encouraging more communication between U.S. and Taiwan regulatory bodies.

Ambassador Moriarty was chief of the AIT political section from 1995 to 1998. He later served as U.S. ambassador in Bangladesh and Nepal before retiring from the foreign service in 2011. As AIT chairman, he succeeds Raymond F. Burghardt, who held the position from 2006 until his recent retirement.