AmCham Taipei released its 2019 Taiwan White Paper on May 29 at a news conference attended by more than 40 journalists, who raised questions on such subjects as development of the digital economy, labor policy, energy policy, and the likely impact on Taiwan of the U.S.-China trade war.
AmCham Chairman Leo Seewald briefed the attendees on the highlights of the 2019 Taiwan White Paper:
- Another year with major progress – Of the 71 issues put forward to the Taiwan government in the 2018 Taiwan White Paper for improvement of the business climate, eight were rated solved – three less than the all-time record of 11 last year. The eight issues included four from the cosmetics industry and one each from the Agro-chemicals, Capital Markets, Human Resources, and the Telecommunications and Media sectors. Another 15 issues were cited as showing good progress.
- Challenges for Taiwan – Taiwan continues to face political pressure from China, economic fallout from the U.S.-China trade war, and internal challenges such as the rapidly aging population and shortages of land, labor, and other resources.
- Positive developments – The U.S.-China tariff war also provides opportunities for Taiwan to attract manufacturing investment. The warm relationship with the U.S. offers hope that a bilateral trade agreement (BTA) could be negotiated.
- The importance of innovation – Taiwan is on the right track in focusing attention on the “5+2 Innovative Industries” to enhance its global competitiveness.
- The urgent need for focus – As there is no guarantee as to how long the current favorable conditions will last, this is a critical point in time. Taiwan cannot afford to be let the upcoming presidential election campaigns totally distract public attention from the crucial reform agenda.
Following the conference, the Chamber held a luncheon meeting in the Grand Ballroom of the Regent Taipei. Over 100 members and guests were at the event, including Minister Chen Mei-ling of the National Development Council (NDC), who accepted the White Paper on behalf of the Taiwan government. The minister thanked and praised AmCham Taipei for providing suggestions that will “help build a more internationalized business environment in Taiwan.” She said the government worked hard to eliminate the obstacles to investment cited in the White Paper.
Chen also asked AmCham member companies’ help in promoting the government’s three current flagship projects:
- Regional Revitalization. Encouraging business investment in cities outside of Taipei, especially those in the Southern part of Taiwan, to bring value to unique industries that are suitable for various cities and towns.
- Bilingual Nation. Promoting English as an official language to enhance Taiwan’s international competitiveness.
- Smart Government. Improve government systems by integrating innovative smart services so that 98% of all government procedures can be performed online by 2025.
The Chamber thanks the NDC and the 23 government agencies for their continued support in coordinating cross-ministerial meetings to discuss AmCham’s issues and taking the Chamber’s suggestions into consideration. AmCham Taipei looks forward to working more closely with the government to promote economic growth and ensure that Taiwan remains a vigorous part of the international community.