Luncheon with the Kaohsiung Mayor

In an AmCham Taipei special luncheon at the Regent Taipei, Kaohsiung Mayor and Nationalist Party presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu highlighted some of the initiatives taking place in Kaohsiung and his intention to further develop Taiwan’s economy.

In his speech, Han noted that with the U.S.-China trade war heavily impacting the global economy, Taiwan needs to take this opportunity to negotiate bilateral and multilateral trade agreements with its trading partners. In particular, it is also a critical time for Taiwan to push for a free trade agreement (FTA) with the U.S.

Besides cooperating with trade allies, Han urged Taiwan to work in close collaboration with global enterprises to drive industrial development and economic growth in Taiwan. He said that some prospective foreign investors have been reluctant to commit to projects in Taiwan out of concern about future energy sufficiency. He suggested that Taiwan keep nuclear power as a viable option, as long as its safety is assured and the public supports the idea.

The mayor thanked AmCham Taipei for its longstanding support for Taiwan and continuous efforts to improve U.S.-Taiwan relations. He also praised the Chamber for providing valuable suggestions and recommendations on improving Taiwan’s business environment in the annual Taiwan White Paper. In closing, Han said that if he is elected, his government will closely examine the White Paper and work to make sure that appropriate regulatory policies are implemented.

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Luncheon with the Minister of MOEA

The trade friction between the U.S. and China is causing many Taiwanese companies in China to move all or part of their operations back to Taiwan – and the Taiwan government is doing its utmost to mobilize resources to provide them with necessary assistance.

That was the key message in Economics Minister Shen Jong-Chin’s presentation to AmCham Taipei members at a Chamber luncheon meeting in the ballroom of the Regent Taipei on August 20.  Among the Minister’s key points:

  • The current situation presents a promising opportunity for Taiwan. Already the government has approved 111 investment cases from Taishang (the term for Taiwanese companies operating on the mainland) and more are coming. The government anticipates that more than 90,000 jobs will be created in Taiwan.
  • The Ministry of Economic Affairs has set up a one-stop service center under its InvesTaiwan office to ensure that interested companies receive rapid and efficient service. The government is seeking to help companies solve any problems arising from the “five shortages” of land, power, water, labor, and talent.
  • Currently land is not a big obstacle, as many of the returning companies had kept additional production facilities in Taiwan when they invested on the mainland. But it could become more of a concern if the number of returning companies rises considerably. The government is therefore preparing more industrial zones where land or factory buildings will be available on a rental basis.
  • Working through local banks, the government is also making loans available to companies at preferential rates to encourage their return or expansion in Taiwan.
  • The major sectors being affected are industrial clusters for notebook computers and other ICT products, bicycles, and auto parts. The domestic machinery industry is also receiving increased orders as a result of this trend.
  • Some of the Taishang departing China are choosing to relocate to Southeast Asian countries or India. MOEA is also using its contacts and experience to help companies moving to those areas.

Before the speech, Minister Shen also participated in a half-hour meeting to exchange ideas with representatives from several of AmCham’s industrial groups, including the Energy, Technology, and Infrastructure Committees, and the Digital Economy Taskforce.