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


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.

Tax Luncheon: Tax Challenges & Opportunities for Multinationals

On October 26, AmCham’s Tax Committee hosted a luncheon at the Regent Taipei, where Eunice Kuo, Partner of Deloitte China, gave a presentation on the Tax challenges and opportunities faced by multinational corporations in their supply chain management.

Synopsis of Kuo’s Presentation: 

Multinational companies have been constantly looking for optimal business transactional structures to streamline their operations and to optimize their tax efficiency. It has been common to see MNCs’ use of regional principal trading company, group intangibles owner and group financing and treasury center. Under the post-BEPS (base erosion and profit shifting) environment, would these commonly seen structures still be safe for tax purposes after the OECD introduced BEPS action plans and Asia Pacific tax authorities have been modifying local rules to respond to BEPS actions?

Kuo shared with with AmCham members and guests what MNCs should do to mitigate their tax risks while looking after tax efficient business transactions. Topics of discussion included

• Commonly seen business models in this Region
• BEPS actions which may impact on existing business models
• Discussion about value chain analysis
• Next steps for MNCs

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AmCham 2016 Cybersecurity Forum

With the U.S. presidential race embroiled in controversy due in no small part to hacked emails revealing intimate details of strategy and opinion, while Taiwan deals with a spectacular heist of local ATMs by Russian hackers based in London, the threat of cyber-attacks spans the globe.

Accordingly, on October 6, AmCham Taipei joined hands with three influential Taiwanese associations – the Information Service Industry Association of the R.O.C. (CISA), the Cloud Computing Association in Taiwan, and Taipei Computer Association (TCA) – to host the 2016 Cybersecurity Forum. Sponsored by Microsoft Taiwan and the FireEye internet security firm, the forum featured notable speakers representing the U.S. FBI, the Executive Yuan’s Department of Cyber Security, the Ministry of Justice, and Deloitte & Touche, as well as industry experts from FireEye, IBM, Intumit, and Microsoft.

The forum opened with recorded remarks by Audrey Tang, the celebrated “hacktivist” and now Minister without Portfolio, who described attacks against Taiwanese government and businesses as “one of the most urgent challenges that we have to deal with.” Tang said that only by assuring cybersecurity “can we realize the full potential” of the internet as a “vibrant force for economic, social and cultural development.”


Rod Morgan, AmCham Technology co-chair and head of Inotera/Micron in Taiwan, introduced the speakers, starting with Joshua Kim, the U.S. FBI legal attaché for Hong Kong-Taipei. According to Kim, a cyberattack follows a general “kill chain,” which starts with reconnaissance of a system for vulnerabilities, penetration and delivery of malicious code to take control of the target computers, and finally, data or money theft, or network destabilization.

The Cybersecurity Management Act

Taiwan’s government is developing its Cybersecurity Management Act to establish the legal and regulatory framework to “help government and the private sector to improve cybersecurity and risk management,” noted Jyan Hong-wei, Director-General for the Department of Cybersecurity under the Executive Yuan. Jyan said that while the government has a number of executive orders targeted at improving cybersecurity, the scope of these orders is too narrow and neglects critical infrastructure owned and managed by the private sector.

The new act fills these gaps by offering a comprehensive law covering both central and local government as well as state-owned enterprises and critical infrastructure providers in the private sector. Jyan noted that the proposed law would not cover the private sector as a whole, an assurance that industry welcomed as making the scope of the law more workable. AmCham’s Technology Committee also welcomed his invitation for companies and organizations to provide their suggestions and input.

Wu Fu-mei, deputy director of the Information and Communication Security (ICS) division within the Ministry of Justice, presented a glimpse at the MOJ’s efforts to investigate and combat cybercrime in Taiwan. The ICS employs Taiwan’s first accredited laboratory for computer forensics. This forensics lab is crucial to investigating proliferating cases of “ransomware,” in which a victim’s data is stolen and encrypted and the criminals demand payment for its return, as well as cyberattacks committed by insiders within an organization and APT (Advanced Persistent Threats), which are ongoing, sophisticated threats such as presented by China’s infamous hacker army.


Wu’s deputy, Lo Yueng-tien, special agent in the Cyber Crime section, gave a separate presentation detailing the hack of the First Bank ATMs in which a Eastern European gang attempted to steal over US$2 million. Thanks to savvy detective work by Taiwan’s investigators combined with clumsy footwork by the criminals, most of the perpetrators were arrested and the money largely recovered.

Hans A. Barre, senior manager for Risk Advisory with Deloitte & Touche, then gave a presentation reminding corporate leaders to prepare for the inevitability of cyber-attacks and remain actively involved in both prevention and recovery.

Expanding Awareness

A panel discussion moderated by AmCham Technology Committee co-chair Revital Golan followed with participants Vincent Shih, assistant general counsel and GM of Microsoft’s legal affairs division; Hsu Wei-lun, senior manager with IBM Taiwan; JD Chiou, CEO of Intumit, Inc. and a Judicial Yuan advisor; and Jarvett Lin, Greater China manager for FireEye. The panelists stressed the need for every member of an organization to be aware of cybersecurity. Hacking victim First Bank, for example, took all of the right steps towards preventing a cyber-attack, yet access was obtained through a spear-phishing attack. (Recent evidence indicates that the Democratic National Committee emails were likewise hacked through spear phishing.)

Cyberattacks seem to be on the rise, and organizations need to prepare to defend their data as well as mitigate the damage and recover from losses, the panelists said. Vincent Shih of Microsoft starkly divided the world’s companies into two kinds: those that know that they have been hacked and are doing something about it, and those that don’t yet know that they have been hacked.

“That’s the real situation right now,” Shih said. “We need to expand this awareness.”


Special Event – Countdown to the US Election

For those expecting fireworks, the AmCham’s Special Luncheon, “Countdown to the 2016 US Presidential Election,” on Oct 19, might have been a disappointment. Rather than political discord, attendees were instead treated to reasoned analysis of the U.S. presidential campaign and its possible ramifications on U.S. policy toward Asia by two keen observers of U.S. politics and Asia policy: William A. Stanton, Founding Director, the Center for Asia Policy (CAP), National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) in Taiwan and former AIT Director; and Ross Feingold, Senior Adviser at DC International Advisory.

Moderated by Paul Cassingham, Senior Legal Consultant at Eiger as well as a former AmCham Chairman and current Government Relations Committee Chair, the luncheon featured 15-minute presentations by each of the speakers, followed by Q&A and open discussion.


William A. Stanton, Founding Director, the Center for Asia Policy (CAP), National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) in Taiwan and former AIT Director, presents his analysis of the US election’s potential impact in Asia.

Stanton’s presentation, The U.S. Presidential Election and What it Means for Asia, focused on four key areas:

  • U.S. Policy toward China
  • U.S. Policy towards Taiwan
  • the Trans-Pacific Partnership
  • and the South China Sea

He noted that both of the candidates talked tough on China, with Trump’s criticisms primarily economic while Clinton’s were more broadly aimed at China’s poor human rights record, its growing military might, accusations that China is wielding an army of cyber-attackers aimed at the United States, and its lack of democracy.


Ross Feingold, Senior Adviser at DC International Advisory, presented a broader overview of the election process up to this point.

Feingold, who identified himself as a Republican who does not support Trump, focused more broadly on the bruising primary and presidential campaigns and how each candidate has fared. He noted that while recent email leaks and other public relations disasters have resulted in low public approval for Clinton, Trump’s approval ratings are in the basement, resulting in a distinct advantage for Clinton. Feingold also said that the Democratic Party’s platform remains focused on the “One-China” policy, while the Republican Party platform is more detailed and more supportive of Taiwan.

Participants joined in a lively discussion over what the election might mean for Taiwan, including the chances of the TPP being passed under either candidate. Stanton and Feingold concurred that although both candidates expressed disapproval for the TPP, Clinton would more likely re-open negotiations for the Pacific-wide trade agreement. Regarding another issue of concern for U.S. expats in Taiwan, Clinton has expressed support for the FATCA exemption on bank reporting. The Trump campaign has said nothing on this matter.

AmCham Makes Visits to Cabinet Ministers

An AmCham delegation led by Chairman Dan Silver meets with MOI Minister Yeh and his staff members.

An AmCham delegation led by Chairman Dan Silver meets with MOI Minister Yeh and his staff members.

In recent weeks, an AmCham Taipei delegation led by Chairman Dan Silver has called on two members of the Cabinet to exchange views on pertinent issues.

The first meeting was with Minister of Interior Yeh Jiunn-rong and members of his staff on September 26. The main topic was potential ways of enhancing Taiwan’s Administrative Procedure Act (APA) to increase the degree of transparency and public engagement in the process for making or revising government regulations. A former professor and vice dean at the National Taiwan University School of Law, Yeh has long had a keen interest in seeking ways to improve the rule-making process. The idea of creating an enhanced “Second Generation APA” has also been one of AmCham’s priority themes for the past two years, reflected in the annual Taiwan White Paper.

In the same spirit, the government of Premier Lin Chuan by executive order recently lengthened the time period for notice and comment on new regulations from 14 to 60 days, effective October 1. AmCham expressed its appreciation to Minister Yeh regarding this step, which the Chamber believes will lead to more effective regulations.

Also discussed was the Ministry of Interior’s ongoing efforts to review and modernize the rules governing non-government organizations (NGOs) in Taiwan.


The second meeting, on October 17, was with newly appointed Minister without Portfolio Audrey Tang, who has been designated as Taiwan’s first digital minister, with the mission of helping to create a more open government. Again, key topics were the expanded notice and comment period – and how to ensure that it is used by the private sector and government officials to optimum effectiveness – and the desirability of upgrading the existing APA.

Another subject was the new website set up by the government earlier this year to enable members of the public to participate in the making of public policy by presenting and discussing proposals. Under Tang’s guidance, the site will be further refined and expanded in the months ahead.

Besides Dan Silver, other members of the delegation in both instances included AmCham President Andrea Wu, former chairman Paul Cassingham, Senior Director Don Shapiro, and Senior Director for Government and Public Affairs Amy Chang.

Innovation Council Luncheon: Unlocking the Power of Authentic Experiences through the Sharing Ecnoomy

On October 17, AmCham Taipei’s Innovation Council had the pleasure of hosting Airbnb’s Asia-Pacific public policy lead Mike Orgill, to share his insights with guests and members about the rise of the global “Sharing Economy”.

The “Sharing economy” is an umbrella term with a range of meanings, often used to describe economic and social activity involving online transactions. Some notable platforms include Airbnb, Uber, and Zipcar.

During Mr. Orgill’s presentation, he covered a the following topics:

  • Opportunities and future development of Sharing Economy
  • New trends in travel
  • Best-practice sharing on partnerships, such as how Airbnb became the partner of the recent Olympics in Rio
  • Experience sharing on working with governments to develop new regulatory frameworks for sharing economy

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


Gina Tsai (left) Airbnb’s Hong Kong and Taiwan Public Policy Head, Mike Orgill (right) APAC Public Policy Head, with Revital Golan (center), AmCham Technology Committee Co-Chair and Managing Director of Anemone Ventures.

Joint Luncheon on Global Banking Regulations

On October 14, Ronald Gould, Chairman of Think Alliance Group, spoke to AmCham members and guests at a Joint Committee Luncheon on the topic of Global Banking Regulations Compliance issues, including Dodd-Frank, Anti-Money Laundering (AML), and Know Your Customer rules (KYC).

Large multinational financial institutions, regional banks and even predominately Asian financial holdings with only a limited presence in the United States have been caught off-guard by changing rules and expectations from regulatory authorities.

In reality, AML and KYC compliance is nothing new. But the level of complexity and cross-border ramifications are not well understood. Mr. Gould shared his insights so that listeners might be made more aware and better prepared to handle these issues in the future, in an ever-changing, increasingly complex and globalized economy.


Some topics covered during Mr. Gould’s presentation included:

  • Changing global regulatory requirements
  • Emerging trends and industry practices for global banks and asset managers
  • More intrusive regulatory oversight, implications of the Dodd-Frank Act in the US that will affect financial institutions and asset managers globally
  • Greater focus on governance, management and compliance including KYC and AML
  • Challenges and opportunities for Taiwan

This event was a joint committee luncheon, hosted by the AmCham Banking, Asset Management, and Capital Markets committees.

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


AmCham Members start “Getting Things Done” at Advance Learning Lab Workshop

On October 13, The AmCham Advance Learning Lab hosted “Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity” – a workshop featuring instructor Cyrille Jegu, a certified GTD(R) Master Trainer and representative of the David Allen Company in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China.

GTD, built upon David Allen’s groundbreaking methodology for achieving control and focus amidst a world of constant change and ever-increasing input, is a powerful methodology provides a highly effective and sustainable way to get meaningful things done with minimal stress.


During the event, audiences received an overview and introduction of the GTD methodology’s 5 steps to gain and/or regain control over your life work flow:

  1. Capture – Everything that has your attention
  2. Clarify – Decide what it means and what to do or not do about
  3. Organize – Put it where it belongs
  4. Reflect – Review frequently
  5. Engage – Get Things Done with confidence!

The workshop received high praise from those in attendance, thanks to instructor Cyrille Jegu’s skillful coaching. We look forward to hosting him again as an instructor for the Advance Learning Lab.

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To see the full photo gallery of this workshop event on Facebook, click here.


Congressional Staff Delegation Visits AmCham (October 13, 2016)

A 10-member delegation of U.S. Congressional staff called at the AmCham Taipei office on October 13 for a briefing and wide-ranging discussion of the Taiwan economy and U.S.-Taiwan relations.

Usually AmCham Taipei is visited by about eight such delegations each year. They are invited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which arranges for a visit to the Chamber to be included in their schedule. “It’s like the Doorknock coming to us,” says AmCham Taipei President Andrea Wu. “It’s a great opportunity in between our trips to Washington to exchange views and emphasize the importance of the U.S.-Taiwan relationship for American business.”

Besides a briefing on AmCham Taipei’s activities and why Taiwan matters to the United States, the session included discussion of such topics as Taiwan’s regulation-making process, energy supply, healthcare system, and ambition to develop its biotech industry. Asked about the prospects for U.S. Congressional ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the visitors seemed agreed that TPP would eventually come into force, although the timing is currently impossible to predict.

The delegation included representatives from the following offices:

  • Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT),
  • Joe Manchin (D-WV),
  • Dick Durbin (D-IL),
  • Chris Coons (D-DE),
  • Steve Daines (R-MT);
  • Congressman Juan Vargas (D-CA);
  • the Office of the Speaker of the House,
  • the House Committee on Energy and Commerce,
  • the Senate Republican Conference,
  • the Subcommittee on Health of the House Committee on Ways and Means.

They were received by AmCham Chairman Dan Silver, Senior Director Don Shapiro, Senior Director for Government and Public Affairs Amy Chang, and Taiwan Business Topics Associate Editor Tim Ferry.