The 2018 edition of AmCham Taipei’s annual Taiwan White Paper was released on June 6 with a news conference followed by a membership luncheon, both at the Regent Taipei hotel.
The news conference, which generated wide coverage, was attended by representatives from 32 local and international print and broadcast media organizations. Chamber President William Foreman opened the event by explaining the significance of the White Paper. He noted that the purpose is not merely to try to solve problems affecting AmCham member companies, but more importantly to help “Taiwan become more prosperous and more successful.” Since most of those member companies are deeply rooted in Taiwan – many have been operating in Taiwan for decades – Taiwan’s success and their success are intertwined.
AmCham Chairman Albert Chang then provided the journalists with a PowerPoint presentation of the highlights of the 2018 Taiwan White Paper:
- A record high of 11 committee issues resolved (compared to zero last year), with 21 other issues showing good progress.
- Unprecedented cooperation from the National Development Council thanks to the personal efforts of Minister Chen Mei-ling.
- The selection of 13 priority issues for attention in the coming year. These are issues, carried over from last year, that were rated as showing good progress and should require only a bit more effort to finalize.
- A series of broad-based suggestions on steps Taiwan should take to enhance its attractiveness for foreign investment.
The presentations were repeated at the luncheon, which was attended by some 120 AmCham members and guests. The guest of honor was National Development Council (NDC) Minister Chen Mei-ling, who received the White Paper on behalf of the Taiwan government and expressed her thanks to AmCham for its “valuable suggestions that have made an important contribution to the improvement of Taiwan’s business environment.” In her remarks, she also disclosed recent progress in several areas of concern to AmCham member companies:
- Working-hour conditions under the Labor Standards Act. Similar to the recommendation in the 2018 Taiwan White Paper, the NDC has suggested to the Ministry of Labor that supervisory and administrative personnel or professionals with a certain salary level be exempt from the current legal restrictions on working hours.
- Implementation of a member-choice labor pension scheme to allow those with greater risk appetite to seek higher returns. Minister Chen said the government would phase in this approach, starting with the young generation.
- Providing legal recognition to the chiropractic profession (the longest standing White Paper issue). Chen said the government is adopting an open-minded approach, looking for a win-win solution.
For a fuller discussion of the White Paper contents and Minister Chen’s luncheon remarks, see the Topics Online website.