Wrapping up the 2020 White Paper Meetings

Last week, AmCham Taiwan concluded the third and final meeting between its various industry committees and representatives of relevant government agencies to discuss progress on the 2020 White Paper issues. The meetings, coordinated by the National Development Council and presided over by NDC Minister Kung Ming-hsin, were launched in 2018 as a way of increasing collaboration between the Chamber and the Taiwanese government and to push for better communication and resolution of industry and regulatory issues.

In general, the overall tone and direction of the meetings, which took place over three three-hour sessions, was positive. The benefit of having committee co-chairs and representatives make their case face-to-face with their government counterparts is that it allows for more in-depth discussion, and Minister Kung worked hard to find common ground between the two sides, at times suggesting one-one-one meetings to hammer out certain issues.

Among the highlights of the NDC meetings was the Financial Supervisory Commission’s (FSC) commitment to working with the Central Bank (CBC) to assist the Asset Management Committee with resolving its issue regarding the issuance of multi-currency funds by privately placed securities investment trust enterprise funds (SITE). In addition, the FSC noted that it will release a directive by the end of March allowing foreign institutional investors (FINI) to invest in exchange traded notes (ETN), helping to resolve one of the Capital Markets Committee’s 2020 issues.

Some of the government representatives present at the meetings expressed an openness to establishing direct channels with their private sector counterparts to continue discussing items where there appeared to be room for compromise or forward movement. Included among these items was the Technology Committee’s request that the government avoid prescriptive labeling of tech products – in particular, pre-loaded software applications on mobile devices – for cybersecurity purposes. The Chemical Manufacturers Committee also appeared to make some headway in persuading the government to consider adopting international standards for management of chemical products, as well as to work with the committee to help improve the public image of the chemical industry.

Other areas where progress appeared to be made included the Transportation and Logistics Committee’s 2020 White Paper issue regarding expanding fiscal incentives for electric vehicle buyers. The Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) representative cited its plans to extend the commodity tax exemption for electric vehicle purchases, which was set to expire at the end of 2021. The Intellectual Property and Licensing Committee was invited by the National Communications Commission (NCC) to join a working group composed of the NCC, the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO), and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to discuss difficult IPR issues.

Not all of the discussions proceeded equally smoothly, and there were some longstanding issues that continue to require further communication between industry and the regulators. Chief among these is the Medical Devices Committee’s recommendation that the government accept the Medical Device Single Audit Program (MDSAP) audit report as a substitute for the current Establishment Inspection Report (EIR) for the review and approval of new medical devices. AmCham hopes that the relevant stakeholders of these issues can continue working together to achieve actionable solutions.

The Chamber is grateful to Minister Kung and his colleagues at the NDC for their assistance in arranging the quarterly White Paper meetings, as well as to the various government agencies for their time and willingness to communicate and work with AmCham’s industry committees. AmCham looks forward to continuing its advocacy work through its annual production of the Taiwan White Papers and its collaboration with industry and public sector partners.

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je Addresses AmCham Luncheon

AmCham Taiwan welcomed Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je to speak at its second Meet the Mayor luncheon event held at the Grand Hyatt Taipei. Mayor Ko spoke to a full house of members and their guests on his government’s smart city initiatives and post-pandemic transformation.

Mayor Ko began by recognizing Taiwan’s success in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and highlighted the fact that Taiwan was one of the few nations in the world to experience positive economic growth in 2020. He noted that Taiwan succeeded not only in keeping virus cases low but minimizing the pandemic’s effects on the everyday lives of citizens and residents. Ko pointed to the lessons Taiwan learned from the 2003 SARS outbreak, which played a huge role in the island’s superb handling of the current virus.

The mayor then shifted his focus to the main topic of his presentation, noting that Taipei still trails behind other cities in its smart city transformation. He said that promoting wider use of cashless payment methods and the TaipeiPASS – a card and mobile application used for public transportation and e-payments – are some of the main objectives of the Taipei City government’s technology integration strategy. A top-down approach to systemic implementation beginning with key social groups will help deliver policy objectives effectively, explained Ko.

Ko also discussed extensively the importance of smart education. He cited historic correlations between internet accessibility and academic performance to illustrate the need for digitalized education. Ko said great efforts by the city government have led to tangible results visible throughout Taipei’s classrooms.

Furthermore, Mayor Ko touched on the feasibility of investing in autonomous buses, not only in Taipei but throughout Taiwan. Ko explained that Taipei is well-suited for developing autonomous bus systems given the city’s well-established public transportation infrastructure. He also touched on 5G technologies for delivering medicine and U.S.-Taiwan collaboration on building high-tech talent pools.

The mayor ended by stressing the need to adopt risk-management approaches to policymaking in the post-pandemic world and the urgency to improve digital infrastructure for smart city transformation.

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.

Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-Tsan Kicks off Meet the Mayor Event Series

For the first installment of AmCham’s special “Meet the Mayor” luncheon event series, Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan addressed an audience of members and their guests at the Shangri-la’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel Taipei’s second-floor ballroom.

Mayor Cheng began by highlighting Taiwan’s excellent economic performance over the past year, including the double-digit growth in its industrial output and similar growth in exports between January 2020 and 2021. He noted the many new and ongoing efforts in advancing the economic and security relationship between the U.S. and Taiwan, including cooperation on energy and technological development, as well as improving intellectual property protection and strengthening regional security, among others.

Photo Credit: Taoyuan City Government

Cheng went on to discuss the extent of foreign investment in Taoyuan, emphasizing that over 100 U.S. companies have invested in operations there. He said that Taoyuan has been the most successful location in all of Taiwan in terms of helping foreign and local companies resolve issues related to their investments. Some of the notable investors Cheng mentioned from among AmCham’s membership included Cisco, Costco, and GE.

Photo Credit: Taoyuan City Government

In addition, Cheng said, Taoyuan’s local supply chains are strong and abundant, particularly in the area of semiconductors, but also increasingly in 5G communications equipment. Many of the supply chain partners for U.S. multinationals such as Apple, Tesla, and Nike have factories or headquarters in Taoyuan. In addition, the presence of Taiwan’s largest international airport in Taoyuan has allowed it to develop a robust logistics industry, further bolstering its comprehensive supply chains.

Given Taoyuan’s economic and investment advantages and its supportive local government, it holds an important place in the U.S.-Taiwan relationship, Cheng said. Given this, he invited AmCham’s members to consider Taoyuan as their next partner or investment location in Taiwan.

Photo Credit: Taoyuan City Government

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.

AmCham and AIT Hold First Quarterly Meeting of 2021

AIT Director Brent Christensen and several colleagues from the Institute’s Economic and Commercial Sections met with Chamber representatives and staff at AmCham Taiwan’s newly renovated office on March 9. It was the first quarterly meeting to be held between the two organizations this year.

Gathering in the Chamber’s meeting room and snacking on fresh Taiwanese pineapple, the meeting’s participants discussed a wide range of topics, including prospects for resuming Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) talks between the U.S. and Taiwan under the newly inaugurated Biden administration. Other issue areas included the Taiwan government’s progress on some of its flagship policy initiatives, while Chamber leadership conveyed issues related to their respective industries.

Attending the meeting from AmCham’s side were Chairperson CW Chin; President Leo Seewald; Board members Tim Shields, Angela Yu, Daniel Tseng, Roger Yee, Cynthia Chyn, Max Chen, and Shelley Chia; and AmCham Senior Director of Government and Public Affairs Gwenyth Wang-Reeves, Senior Advisor Don Shapiro, and Senior Editor of Publications Jeremy Olivier. AmCham Tax Committee Co-Chairs Cheli Liaw and Heidi Liu also joined the meeting to raise the issue of a double taxation agreement between the U.S. and Taiwan.

Director Christensen was accompanied by AIT Commercial Section Chief Brent Omdahl, Economic Section Chief Danielle Andrews, Economic Section Deputy Chief Arati Shroff, and Commercial Section Deputy Chief Andrew Gately.