Commissioner Lin on the Taipei 2050 Vision Plan

Speaking at a luncheon organized by AmCham Taipei’s Real Estate and Infrastructure & Engineering Committees, Commissioner Lin Jou Min of the Taipei City Government’s Department of Urban Development introduced the Taipei 2050 Vision Plan in a Chinese-language presentation entitled “A City of Our Own: 像我們這樣的城.” The program was held July 20 at the Westin Taipei.

Lin, trained in Architecture and Urban Design at Columbia University in New York, has over 20 years of experience in architectural, interior, landscape, communication, and research-based design. Before being appointed Commissioner in 2014, Lin was the principal architect of J.M. Architect / The Observer Design Group in Taipei.

He described the Taipei 2050 Vision Plan as encompassing the following aspects:

  • Livable and Sustainable City – construct safe, convenient, ecological landscapes.
  • City Aesthetics – promote the aesthetic value of the city to provide better surroundings and experience.
  • Living Justice – improve the standard of living by providing affordable housing for residents.
  • Building Management – enhance employment and economic development through improvement of  environmental outcomes.
  • Urban Regeneration – promote integration of the community and strengthen public communication.

From left to right:  AmCham Real Estate Committee Chair Tony Chao, Taiwan Country Head, Jones Lang LaSalle Taiwan Ltd. and speaker Lin Jou Min, Commissioner, Department of Urban Development, Taipei City Government

Lin also briefed the audience about recent development and renewal projects. The West District Gateway Project involved dismantling the Zhongxiao Bridge ramp to free up space around the North Gate, renovating the area surrounding North Gate, and overhauling the plaza in front of Taipei Railway Station to create a more presentable image of the nation to visitors.

The East District Gateway Project transformed Nangang District into a transportation hub to create new business opportunities in such areas as software, technology, and biotech industry. The project also entails turning Nangang into a pedestrian-friendly environment with connecting pathways and completing such cultural venues as the Taipei Pop Music Center and Nangang Cap Factory.

Future projects include:

  1. Songshan Airport: Transforming the airport into a 330-hectare “Central Park” with an emphasis on ecology, leisure, and humanities.
  2. Eco Shezidao: Redeveloping the restricted flooding zone that has been left unused for 45 years and turning it into a multi-purpose, open space system for ecological and recreational use.
  3. Urban Regeneration: Seeking investments for regeneration projects including government-led urban renewal programs, the National Taiwan University Medical Complex, Lanchou Community, South Airport Apartment, and more.
  4. Public Housing: Provide facilities for social welfare and public services through implementation of public housing.

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Transforming Taiwan’s MICE Industry

Taiwan is seeking to expand its business in the travel segment known as MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions). At a July 19 luncheon meeting at The Sherwood Taipei sponsored by AmCham Taipei’s Travel & Tourism Committee, Walter Yeh, President & CEO of the semi-official Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), addressed the subject with a presentation entitled “Transforming Taiwan’s MICE Industry.”

Primarily through the approximately 40 international trade shows that TAITRA puts on each year, including such prominent events as Computex Taipei in the information technology field and the Taipei Cycle Show, Taiwan has already established a foothold in the MICE field. More than 80,000 international visitors come to Taiwan annually for these events.

But Taiwan has trailed behind some other cities in the region as a center for international conferences and incentive travel, due to a lack of sufficient facilities, promotion, and training.

Yeh said the Taiwan government is now placing new emphasis on the MICE industry, in part to make up for the decline in tour groups coming from China. The mission to help promote the business is even being given to Taiwan’s representative offices around the world, which in the past dealt purely with economic and political issues.

From left to right: AmCham Travel & Tourism Committee C0-chair Achim V. Hake, General Manager, The Sherwood Taipei; AmCham Travel & Tourism Committee C0-chair Pauline Leung, CEO of Compass Public Relations Ltd; Speaker Walter Yeh, President & CEO of Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA); Andrea Wu, AmCham Taipei president

Some of the key points touched on in Yeh’s presentation included:

  • Taiwan has an excellent opportunity to attract more incentive travelers from Muslim countries, especially from Southeast Asian locations such as Malaysia and Indonesia. To create a more welcoming environment for such visitors, the government is assisting restaurants to qualify for Halal certification and encouraging the setting aside of prayer rooms in more public places.
  • The opening of Hall 2 of the Taipei Nankang Exhibition Center in 2019 will substantially increase the amount of available exhibition space, permitting expansion of popular trade shows such as Computex.
  • One of the government’s goals is to bring more events to cities other than Taipei, especially Taichung and Kaohsiung. The Kaohsiung Exhibition Center was completed in 2014, and a Greater Taichung International Expo Center is scheduled to be ready for opening in 2021.
  • A “Meet Taiwan” promotional program funded by the government and operated by TAITRA is dedicated to making Taiwan better known internationally as a good place for MICE activities. Among Taiwan’s strong points, Yeh cited its scenic and cultural attractions, the friendliness of the people, the convenience and safety, and the diversity of the society.

The 2017 Universiade Summer Games to be held in Taipei August 19-30 will be one of the largest events ever staged in Taiwan. Another major event in the planning is the Rotary International Convention in 2021, with an estimated 36,000 participants.

Delegating to Robots: Document Automation for Lawyers

As the cost of office rent and salaries continues to increase while in-house budgets continue to shrink, how can law firms and in-house legal departments cope with the financial squeeze and enhance profitability? The answer – according to a recent presentation at an AmCham Taipei workshop – may be automation of the preparation of legal documents.

On July 13, Peter Davies of Thomson Reuters gave a presentation in AmCham Taipei’s Lincoln Room on “Delegating to Robots: Document Automation for Lawyers.” A former private equity lawyer, Davies now works with corporates in North Asia to determine how new technological models can assist in bringing efficiencies to the legal profession.

From left to right: Speaker Peter Davies with Don Shapiro, Chamber’s Senior Director

Davies stressed that several preconditions are necessary for documentation automation to be feasible:

  • The existence of a good set of templates that computers can draw on to compile a document
  • Sufficient volume for each type of document to create economies of scale
  • A willingness to invest the money and especially the time to create an effective automation system
  • The market power to devise documents based on the office’s own determination (not possible, for example, if a law firm must work on the client’s own template)

Given the right conditions, however, automation brings the advantages of faster speed – manual preparation takes 80% longer on average – and greater accuracy, reducing the incidence of typos and other errors. Davies asserted that automation does not mean robots taking away lawyers’ jobs. Rather, it should free up lawyers’ time for more productive activity.

From attendees’ comments during the interactive presentation, it appears that the automation of legal documents in Taiwan is far less common than in markets such as Hong Kong and Singapore. The main reason may be the lesser volume here of any given standard document.

2017 AmCham Membership Satisfaction Survey

At AmCham Taipei, we are constantly working to deliver a great experience for our members and looking for ways to further improve our services. Between May 18 and June 23, we conducted a Membership Satisfaction Survey consisting of 12 questions. A total of 111 AmCham Taipei members responded to the survey with their feedback.

“The Membership Satisfaction Survey provides valuable insight into the needs of our members,” said Andrea Wu, president of the Chamber. “It serves as a benchmark for our performance and provides a comparative measure of our success from year to year.”

AmCham Taipei is grateful to all members who participated in the survey. As a token of our appreciation, a lucky draw contest was held, with prizes to three participants.

The Membership Satisfaction Survey not only reflects areas of success and needed improvement but also helps inform future AmCham Taipei initiatives and priorities. Future surveys will enable us to track the results of our member satisfaction efforts over time.

Here are the results of the 2017 Membership Survey (click images to enlarge):

Successful New Workplace Strategies Rely on Facilities Management

Businesses are increasingly recognizing that the workplace can be used to help improve business performance by enhancing employee engagement, retention and motivation; spurring productivity; and facilitating cultural change. On July 12, AmCham Taipei’s Real Estate Committee invited Edward Peters, Global Workplace Solutions Lead, Hong Kong/Taiwan/Macau, CBRE, and Vincent Shih, Assistant General Counsel, General Manager of Corporate, External & Legal Affairs Taiwan, Microsoft, to give a luncheon presentation on “Successful New Workplace Strategies Rely on Facilities Management” at the Lincoln Room. Peters and Shih each explored some of the latest thinking on workplace strategy for incorporation into leaders’ management toolkit, as well as the advantages to be gained by creating a synergistic environment and reshaping employees’ behavior.

In the first section, Peters highlighted the importance of creating a new workplace strategy due to the changing nature of the workforce and the working environment. Companies are relying on workplace strategy to strike a balance between reducing costs, improving productivity, and enhancing the overall work experience for employees. For this reason, the global outsourced market in facilities management services is on the rise, offering workplace strategy solutions to add value and drive business performance for organizations.

Following Peters’ presentation, Shih shared insights on digital transformation at Microsoft with the objectives of 1) engaging customers, 2) empowering employees, 3) optimizing operations, 4) transforming products, and 5) ensuring modern security. As part of its design strategy, Microsoft combines space utilization, new technology and new ways of working to foster collaboration, knowledge sharing, and innovation within the workplace.

From left to right: Vincent Shih, Assistant General Counsel, General Manager of Corporate, External & Legal Affairs Taiwan, Microsoft, Edward Peters, Global Workplace Solutions Lead, Hong Kong/Taiwan/Macau, CBRE, and Joseph Lin, AmCham Governor, Managing Director, CBRE Limited Taiwan Branch.

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Note: AmCham events are intended primarily for AmCham members and their guests. Many events are open to members’ guests and other non-members, but the attendance of any non-member must be approved in advance. AmCham reserves the right not to admit a non-member to any event without explanation.

2017 Doorknock Delegation to Washington

AmCham Taipei’s 2017 Doorknock visit to Washington D.C. from June 26 to 30 conducted a total of 45 meetings with U.S. government executive branch agencies (including the State Department, Commerce Department, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative), Congressional offices, think tanks, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Taipei Economic & Cultural Representative office in the U.S. (TECRO), and others interested in the U.S.-Taiwan economic relationship.

Delegation members with U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman, Congressman Ed Royce

The group was led by Chamber Chairman Albert Chang, Vice Chair Dan Silver, and President Andrea Wu, and also included Raghavendra Shenoy, co-chair of the Medical Devices Committee, Board Supervisor, and General Manager of Johnson & Johnson Medical Taiwan Ltd.; Jenny Zheng, co-chair of the Pharmaceutical Committee and Managing Director of Johnson & Johnson Taiwan Ltd.; Emily Chiang of Medtronic (Taiwan) Ltd.; Stephen Y. Tan of K&L Gates; William Vocke of the Foundation for Scholarly Exchange (Fulbright Taiwan); Lynn Cinelli of MSD Taiwan; Don Shapiro, AmCham Taipei Senior Director; and Amy Chang, AmCham Taipei Senior Director for Government & Public Affairs. They were joined for various meetings by the Washington representatives of such member companies as Bechtel, Cigna, Dell, Eli Lilly and Company, Merck, and Microsoft.

Delegation members with Congressman Ted Yoho

AmCham Taipei Chairman Albert Chang with Congressman Ted Yoho

“A lot has changed in Washington since the Trump administration took office, including a new emphasis on targeting U.S. trade deficits with its trading partners, so it was very useful for us to hear from people first-hand about their expectations for the U.S.-Taiwan relationship,” said Andrea Wu. “For the most part, we heard a hard line on outstanding trade issues from the executive agencies, but tempered by widespread expressions of support for Taiwan from members of Congress.”

Team members with U.S. Senator Ron Wyden

A full report on the Doorknock will appear in the August issue of Taiwan Business TOPICS, both the print and online editions.

USEPA Meets with AmCham Taipei

During a recent visit to Taipei, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Acting Assistant Administrator Jane Nishida, met with AmCham Taipei on July 7th. Nishida has over 30 years of environmental experience working in federal and state government, and international and nongovernmental organizations. She currently leads EPA’s international and tribal engagements, and works closely with tribal governments, foreign governments, international organizations, and other U.S. agency partners on matters relating to environmental policy and program implementation in tribal lands and internationally.

Justin Harris, Senior Program Manager from the EPA, accompanied Nishida to meet with members from AmCham Taipei, including President Andrea Wu; Sustainable Development Committee Co-chair Kenny Jeng, A/P Product Stewardship Manager of DuPont Taiwan Ltd. and Co-chair Cosmas Lu, Strategy Adviser of Super Dragon Technology Co. Ltd.,; Public and Government Affairs Consultant Stella Lai from Dell Taiwan; and Senior Manager for APJ Environmental Affairs & Producer Responsibility Vivian Tai, also from Dell.

From left to right: Anna Wang, Economic Officer, AIT Econ Section; Kenny Jeng of DuPont Taiwan, AmCham Taipei Sustainable & Development Committee Co-chair; Andrea Wu, AmCham Taipei President; Jane Nishida, USEPA Acting Assistant Administrator; Cosmas Lu of Super Dragon, AmCham Taipei Sustainable Development Committee Co-chair; Stella Lai of Dell Taiwan, AmCham Taipei Tax Committee Co-chair; Vivian Tai, also from Dell Taiwan; and Justin Harris, USEPA Senior Program Manager

The purpose of the trip was to meet with the Taiwan government and U.S. business community to discuss the different elements of the U.S.-Taiwan and APEC regional environmental cooperation. Some of the key areas of discussion include 1) Monitoring Air Quality 2) Mercury Pollution 3) Circular Economy and 4) International E-Waste Network (IEWN). Members of AmCham Taipei also exchanged their views with the USEPA officials on corporate sustainability programs and challenges in the region, especially Taiwan.

AmCham HR Committee Seminar: 最新創新平台管理趨勢分享,拉動企業轉型動能

AmCham Taipei HR Committee held a seminar on July 6 at AmCham Taipei Lincoln Room, featuring May Wei 魏美蓉, Leader, Talent & Rewards, NA Practice Leader, Talent Management & Organization Alignment at Willis Towers Watson, as the speaker.

最新創新平台管理趨勢分享,拉動企業轉型動能 – this event was conducted in Mandarin.

*This event will be conducted in Mandarin. 本次活動將以中文進行。

全面互聯網+的時代下,平台經濟迅速擴張,以用戶為核心的商業模式正席捲全球,一個成熟的平台可能在短時間內就可以顛覆一個產業的遊戲規則,阿里巴巴、海爾、亞馬遜、Google等已經從增加顧客價值擴大到平台生態系統的價值。

面對用戶主導的時代經濟,企業內也必須重新思考新的組織設計與人力架構以因應行動化時代的消費者,兩創精神(創業與創新)是組織轉型的關鍵,而創新平台管理為萃取自主管理團隊的精神與組織人才大數據為基礎因應而生,不僅可趨動組織創新的能量,更能為組織創造新的人才、產品與品牌優勢,拉動新的成長模式,協助企業成功轉型,進而翻轉企業的獲利能量。

我們這次特別邀請韋萊韜悅台灣分公司人才暨獎酬總經理魏美蓉女士與我們分享最新創新平台趨勢如何顛覆傳統金字塔的組織管理架構,魏美蓉女士曾協助台灣與亞太多家知名企業建立組織內部創業文化與長期激勵制度,引領現代組織變革的潮流,進而開創新的獲利模式。

When: July 6, 2017 (3 PM – 5 PM)

Where: AmCham Taipei, Lincoln Room

Speaker: 魏美蓉小姐 (May Wei) – 人才與獎酬諮詢 總經理/北亞地區人才管理與組織變革諮詢 領導人

From left to right: Speaker May Wei (May Wei), Leader, Talent & Rewards, NA Practice Leader, Talent Management & Organization Alignment at Willis Towers Watson with Wendy Shieh, Director of Events & Marketing

Interested in attending our events? Join us at other upcoming events, click here.

Note: AmCham events are intended primarily for AmCham members and their guests. Many events are open to members’ guests and other non-members, but the attendance of any non-member must be approved in advance. AmCham reserves the right not to admit a non-member to any event without explanation.

AmCham Tax Committee Luncheon: 境外電商課徵營業稅新制簡介

AmCham Taipei Tax Committee held a luncheon on June 28 at the Regent Taipei, featuring 許慈美女, 財政部臺北國稅局局長, as the speaker.

境外電商課徵營業稅新制簡介 – this event was conducted in Mandarin.

*This event will be conducted in Mandarin. 本次活動將以中文進行。

106年5月1日起,境外電商對我國自然人銷售電子勞務,每年達48萬者,應辦理稅籍登記報繳營業稅,為方便境外電商瞭解詳細內容,台北市美國商會特別邀請到台北國稅局局長許慈美女士蒞臨午餐會演講,並簡要介紹境外電商課徵營業稅新制的課徵範圍、稅籍登記及申報繳納方式,歡迎對此議題有興趣的會員報名參加。

When: June 28, 2017 (12 PM – 2 PM)

Where: Regent Taipei, 4F VIP 5+6  / 台北晶華酒店 貴賓廳五、六 4F

Speaker: Tzu-Mei Hsu (Director-general, National Taxation Bureau of Taipei, Ministry of Finance) / 許慈美女士, 財政部臺北國稅局局長

From left to right: Chao-Tsai Chan (Chief of the Fourth Examination Division, National Taxation Bureau of Taipei, Ministry of Finance), Tax Committee Co-Chair, Josephine Peng, Senior Counselor, Lee and Li, Attorneys-at-Law, Speaker Tzu-Mei Hsu 許慈美女士 (Director-general, National Taxation Bureau of Taipei, Ministry of Finance), Tax Committee Co-Chair Cheli Liaw, Partner, Deloitte & Touche

Interested in attending our events? Join us at other upcoming events, click here.

Note: AmCham events are intended primarily for AmCham members and their guests. Many events are open to members’ guests and other non-members, but the attendance of any non-member must be approved in advance. AmCham reserves the right not to admit a non-member to any event without explanation.