3M Hosts AmCham Taipei Field Trip

3M, one of the largest multinational companies operating in Taiwan, hosted the AmCham Taipei staff at its Customer Technology Center in Yangmei on September 25. Jeffrey Tung, Managing Director of 3M Taiwan, provided a briefing about the company’s 51-year history in Taiwan and its leading role in driving science-based innovation. The guests had the opportunity to walk through the impressive showroom area. Through hands-on demonstrations, visitors learned about 3M’s core technologies and witnessed how science can be “applied to life.”

In his briefing, Tung described how 3M applies materials science to its four major business units: Safety & Industrial, Transportation & Electronics, Health Care, and Consumer-based products. With an annual revenue of more than US $30 billion, the company currently has over 200 offices with 96,000 employees globally, and it holds more than 100,000 patents.

Tung noted that each of 3M’s R&D Centers develops its own unique products and innovative processes. The company shares its patents across business units to encourage continuous, collaborative efforts to drive innovation, producing products that are “safer, faster, and last longer.”  He also stressed the vital role that 3M has played in working with governments to ensure sufficient supplies of essential personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers around the world amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

AmCham Taipei Celebrates 69 Years of Outstanding Service and Leadership

On September 17, AmCham Taipei commemorated its 69th anniversary with an evening celebration at the Mandarin Oriental hotel. Over 100 guests, including members new and longstanding, dined on the hotel’s delicious international cuisine, caught up with peers and friends, and raised a toast to the Chamber’s more than six decades of outstanding service to the international business community. The event was sponsored by SGS and the Invest Taipei Office, and drinks were provided by Diageo.

To kick off the evening, AmCham Taipei Chairperson C.W. Chin gave a short speech describing the Chamber’s dedication to further improving the business environment for its members and to strengthening the economic relationship between Taiwan and the U.S. Leo Seewald, president of the Chamber, then announced that AmCham Taipei is in the process of undergoing a name change – to the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan – to better reflect the organization’s scope and responsibility. AmCham’s membership encompasses the whole of Taiwan, Seewald noted, and in terms of its advocacy efforts, it works mostly with the central government on issues of regulatory policy.

Huang Shan-Shan, deputy mayor of Taipei city government, briefly addressed the guests, emphasizing the work of the Invest Taipei Office. ITO is a one-stop platform established by the city’s Department of Economic Development to assist domestic and overseas companies and entrepreneurs by providing them with knowledge and understanding of Taipei’s business environment, as well as of related policies and legislation.

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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.

AmCham and CNAIC Sign Joint Statement on Bilateral Trade Agreement

The American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei and the Chinese National Association of Industry & Commerce (CNAIC) have issued a joint statement calling on the governments of the U.S. and Taiwan to begin negotiations for a bilateral trade agreement. The agreement was signed September 9 by AmCham Taipei Chairman CW Chin and CNAIC Chairman Lin Por-fong at a ceremony at the Palais de Chine Hotel. It is the first collaborative effort between the two organizations, which represent many of the largest local and international enterprises operating in Taiwan.

The statement acknowledges the importance of the U.S. and Taiwan to each other in terms of two-way trade, which totaled nearly US$43 billion for the first half of 2020. In addition, the two trading partners share a commitment to the principles of fair, transparent, and mutually beneficial trade relations, as well as to upholding democracy and the rule of law, protection of intellectual property, and maintaining peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. Taiwan is thus an ideal candidate for a BTA.

Speaking prior to the signing of the joint statement, Chin cited the significance of a U.S.-Taiwan BTA both to the Chamber’s mission and to Taiwan’s economy more broadly. Noting that 2020 marks AmCham’s 69th anniversary, he said that “what’s good for the people of Taiwan is good for our more than 500 member companies.”

Also attending the ceremony was Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua, who stressed the excellent state of U.S.-Taiwan economic relations, as well as the highly favorable outlook for future investment and bilateral cooperation.

Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua Speaks at AmCham Luncheon

Over 100 AmCham Taipei members attended a special luncheon with recently appointed Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua at the Regent Taipei on August 4. Speaking to the attendees, Minister Wang described the challenges to businesses and the economy posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, China’s tightening grip on Hong Kong, the restructuring of global supply chains, and the U.S.-China trade dispute. However, she also highlighted the new opportunities these developments have opened up for Taiwan and its partners, particularly the U.S.

“In light of the pandemic, Taiwanese businesses have had to make big changes to stay afloat. So, it’s not just Taiwan’s government that has been busy lately!” Minister Wang said. Given the government’s adept handling of the virus within its borders, though, she pointed out that of all the OECD countries, Taiwan’s economy suffered the smallest impact in Q2 this year – negative growth of less than 1%. That’s of course not to say that certain industries, such as petrochemicals and real estate, haven’t been more severely affected.

Wang went on to discuss the effects of COVID-19 on tech supply chains which had already begun being reconfigured due to trade tensions between the U.S. and China. The pandemic has accelerated the trend of decoupling, and shifted the focus from long, complex supply chains to ones that are shorter and more secure, she said. Taiwan’s government, seeing the need to act, attracted over US$36.3 billion in investment through three programs geared toward overseas Taiwanese businesses, domestic corporations, and small- and medium-sized enterprises. These efforts have led to the creation of over 90,000 jobs.

Looking ahead, Wang noted the opportunities for Taiwan to deepen its economic partnership with the U.S. She spoke of Taiwan’s attractiveness as a destination for investment by U.S. businesses, emphasizing its strengths in terms of hardware – such as its robust OEM capabilities – and for software, particularly its sizable pool of highly-trained talent. Already, large tech firms such as Google have taken an interest in the advantages Taiwan affords, pledging to collaborate with Taiwan’s government on training AI talent and turning Taiwan into the largest hardware R&D and data center in the Asia-Pacific. And in terms of supply chains, Wang said that Taiwan has become a great source of components for U.S. companies like Tesla; products made by Taiwanese suppliers account for 75% of the company’s key components for its cars.

Wang said that “countries the world over are starting to realize that Taiwan is a reliable partner.” She noted that Taiwan and the U.S. hold shared democratic values, and that Taiwan’s support for an open and fair trade system and complementarity with U.S. industries make it one of the best partners for the U.S. in Asia, and an ideal candidate for a bilateral trade agreement between the two.

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.