New Board Members Elected at 2018 AGM

Five candidates were elected to a two-year term on the Board of Governors, and three to a one-year term as Supervisors, at the AmCham Taipei’s 2018 Annual General Meeting at the Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza hotel on November 20. About 170 AmCham members and guests attended the luncheon meeting.

The newly elected Governors to serve in 2019-2020 are:

  • Al Chang of Deloitte & Touche
  • Albert Chang of McKinsey & Co.
  • Seraphim Ma of Baker & McKenzie
  • Jan-Hendrik Meidinger of the Grand Hyatt Taipei
  • Paulus Mok of Citibank Taiwan

The 2019 Supervisors will be:

  • Vincent Shih of Microsoft Taiwan
  • Terry Tsao of SEMI Taiwan
  • Dylan Tyson of Prudential Life Insurance

The in-line candidates for Governor are Leo Seewald of BlackRock Investment, Petra Jumpers of Eli Lilley & Co., and Joyce Lee of Amgen Taiwan, while Carl Wegner of R3 is the alternate candidate for Supervisor.

At the start of the meeting, AmCham Chairman Albert Chang outlined some of the Chamber’s outstanding achievements during the past year. These included record levels of success in resolving White Paper issues, a revamped Business Climate Survey, and the speech by Deputy U.S. Secretary of State Alex Wong at the Hsieh Nien Fan banquet, generating extensive domestic and international media coverage.

The guest speaker at the luncheon, Director Brent Christensen of the American Institute in Taiwan, called attention to the numerous areas of close cooperation between the United States and Taiwan, including:

  • The Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF), a partnership to demonstrate and share Taiwan’s strengths and expertise with other countries, which has held numerous exchanges and workshops on a wide variety of subjects.
  • The U.S. granting of visa waiver to Taiwan, plus its own Global Entry program, which has enabled the volume of two-way travel to surpass one million people a year.
  • The growing interest by Taiwanese companies in investing in the United States, as shown by Taiwan having the largest single delegation at the SelectUSA summit this year.
  • The U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy, which is opening increased opportunities for cooperation in such areas as infrastructure, energy, and the digital economy, in sync with the Taiwan government’s New Southbound Policy and 5+2 Innovative Industry program.

Christensen also referred to Vice President Mike Pence’s October 4 speech on U.S. China policy which praised Taiwan as a model for democratic development for the Chinese people. The AIT Director cited three areas where Taiwan is well-positioned to demonstrate a leadership role as a responsible member of the international community:

  • Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) protection. Taiwan has made great improvements in this area, and IPR cooperation has now become a hallmark of the bilateral relationship, he said.
  • Regulatory transparency. Whereas Taiwan had a relatively opaque rules-making regime just a few years ago, it has since become a model by adopting a 60-day notice and comment period, enabling stakeholders to participate in the process.
  • Science-based regulation. It should be standard practice to base regulatory decisions on scientific evidence.

View the full photo gallery here.

Bringing Hawaii to Taipei: The 2018 American Ball

“Aloha Hawaii” was the theme of the dazzling 2018 American Ball, co-organized by AmCham Taipei and the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). On the evening of November 3, AmCham members and their guests entered the beautifully decorated (thanks to the Feng Ze Design Center) Grand Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt Taipei and immediately imagined themselves transported to America’s favorite vacation spot.

After a cocktail reception featuring a welcome drink of Robert Mondavi Winery’s Woodbridge Sparkling Brut courtesy of Sergio Valente, Master of Ceremonies Ed Shober opened the festivities. AmCham Chairman Albert Chang and President Bill Foreman, accompanied by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Deputy Director Ray Greene, then greeted the attendees on behalf of the host organizations.

View the full photo gallery here.

Showing its usual creativity, the Grand Hyatt served a gourmet five-course meal that featured a cucumber red quinoa salad with Ahi poke and young corn, pumpkin chowder, cucumber granite passionfruit jelly, roasted U.S. beef tenderloin, and dessert of a chocolate sphere with coconut cream and fresh pineapple. The dinner was accompanied by Robert Mondavi Winery Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay (from Sergio Valente) and Johnnie Walker Double Black (from Diageo). “Blue Hawaii” and other cocktails were available at the bar.

Before and during dinner, the ball-goers enjoyed spirited Hawaii-inspired entertainment routines devised by the VMJ dance group. Once the music started – provided by talented Sherwyne Pereira and his band, as well as DJ Rick Kraft – the dance floor was packed for the rest of the evening with gyrating, enthusiastic revelers.

The event was made possible by the generosity of a number of sponsoring companies. These included Grand Prize Sponsor United Airlines; Wine & Liquor Sponsors Diageo and Sergio Valente; Gold Sponsors Amgen, Grand Hyatt Taipei, HSBC, Taiwan Sotheby’s, and Versum Materials; Décor Sponsor Standard Chartered Bank; Silver Sponsors BlackRock, Corning, Invisalign, and Prospect Hospitality Co. Ltd. (McDonald’s Restaurants); and General Sponsor The Tobacco Institute of the Republic of China (TIROC), with a special thanks to the Primasia Conference & Business Center (PCBC).

Attractive raffle prizes added to the excitement of the evening. The grand prize, by United Airlines, was two round-trip business-class tickets to any destination in the United States. The second prize was four nights’ stay for two at either the Club Med Kani (Maldives) or Club Med Sahoro (Japan). Other gift sponsors were the Grand Hyatt Taipei, eslite hotel, Ever Rich D.F.S. Corp., Hawaii Island Real Estate/Clark Realty Hilo, Hotel Eclat Taipei, Howard Plaza, Landis Taipei, Mandarin Oriental Taipei, Mellow Fields Taipei, Palais de Chine, Procter & Gamble, Regent Taipei, Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel, Sherwood Taipei, Westin Tashee Resort Taoyuan, and W Taipei.

ARCs Will Get New Numbering System

During an interview with AmCham Taipei’s Taiwan Business TOPICS about immigration, Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung disclosed that the current coding format for Alien Residence Certificates (ARCs) – two letters from the English alphabet followed by eight Arabic numerals – will be changed to conform with the coding format of Taiwan’s National Identity Card number issued to citizens. This change to one letter from the English alphabet followed by nine Arabic numerals is designed to provide greater convenience to foreign nationals living in Taiwan, providing another incentive for them to stay, the Minister said.

After the revision, foreign nationals will be able to shop online, book tickets, and register for medical care or various types of membership using the same procedure as Taiwanese nationals. The Ministry of the Interior says it will coordinate with other ministries and important industrial and commercial groups to help integrate the various information systems and facilities of the public and private sectors.