President Tsai Ing-wen Addresses AmCham Taiwan’s 2021 Hsieh Nien Fan
TAIPEI, Taiwan – The American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan hosted another memorable Hsieh Nien Fan banquet last evening at the Grand Hyatt Taipei – its 53rd such annual event. President Tsai Ing-wen delivered the keynote speech, during which she congratulated AmCham Taiwan on its 70th anniversary and promised to ensure that Taiwan continues to be an ideal location for foreign investment and relocation. She expressed her belief that Taiwan’s economic partnership with the U.S. could be strengthened further by the resumption of Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) talks, which would lay the foundation for negotiating a bilateral trade agreement (BTA).
Also speaking at the dinner was American Institute in Taiwan Director Brent Christensen, who thanked AmCham members for paying a critical role in the U.S.-Taiwan partnership. He said he believes strongly that the U.S. and Taiwan can work together to come up with innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Christensen’s speech was followed by pre-recorded video remarks from U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey, Counselor of the U.S. Department of State Derek Chollet, and Richard Steffens, U.S. Commerce Department Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Asia.
In his opening remarks, AmCham Chairperson CW Chin applauded President Tsai and her administration for their admirable leadership over the past year. He also acknowledged the role of both Taiwanese and American companies in contributing to Taiwan’s stellar economic performance during the pandemic. Chin expressed hope that Taiwan can continue to enjoy the international attention and prestige it has received and stressed that the Chamber would continue to push for greater economic cooperation with the U.S.
He bid farewell to interim AmCham President Leo Seewald, and also introduced the new AmCham Taiwan president, Andrew Wylegala, a 29-year veteran of the U.S. Commercial Foreign Service, who took up his position this week.
Senator Markey in his video noted that the connections made by AmCham Taiwan are a key reason why the U.S. is Taiwan’s second largest trading partner, and why Taiwan is one of the U.S.’ top-ten trading partners. Markey, who was among the four Senators and Congressional Representatives to introduce the bipartisan Taiwan Fellowship Act, a bill that would send U.S. government officials to Taiwan to learn, study, and work, stressed that the legislation could lead to further collaboration between the two partners.
Counselor Chollet, whose rank is equivalent to Under Secretary of State and who serves as a senior policy advisor to the Secretary of State, applauded Taiwan’s exemplary handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and thanked Taiwan for its generous donations of PPE to the U.S. He mentioned the U.S.-Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue, launched last November, noting that it would help enhance cooperation across several key sectors. The State Department’s recently updated contact guidelines will also encourage broader connections between U.S. officials and their Taiwan counterparts, reflecting the deepening U.S.-Taiwan relationship.
Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary Steffens noted that a key priority for the Biden and Harris Administration is to strengthen and enhance U.S. economic and investment ties with Taiwan. The U.S. looks forward to working with Taiwan to tackle global economic challenges and appreciates the hard work of Taiwan’s semiconductor manufacturers to address the current chip shortage. Steffens said that the U.S. also hopes to bolster its university education partnership and public health cooperation with Taiwan.
Joining the approximately 550 AmCham members and guests at this year’s Hsieh Nien Fan were over 150 government officials. Besides the President and former Vice President Chen Chien-jen, high-ranking Taiwanese officials in attendance included Secretary-General of the Presidential Office David Lee, Secretary-General of the National Security Council Wellington Koo, Secretary-General of the Executive Yuan Lee Meng-yen, Secretary-General of the Legislative Yuan Lin Chih-chua, Minister without Portfolio John Deng, Minister without Portfolio and Minister of National Development Council Kung Ming-hsin, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung, Minister of Finance Su Jain-rong, Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang, Deputy Minister of the Interior Chen Tsung-yen, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Lin Minn-tsong, Chairman of the National Communications Commission Chen Yaw-shyang, and Chairperson of the Taiwan Council for U.S. Affairs Yang Jen-ni. For the first time in the Chamber’s history, representatives from Taiwan’s six municipalities attended this event. They included New Taipei Mayor Hou Yu-ih, Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan, and deputy mayors from Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung.
The purpose of the Hsieh Nien Fan is to thank the Taiwan government, as well as local business leaders and scholars, for their constructive interaction with the foreign business community over the past year.
For more information, please contact:
Manager of Government & Public Affairs
+886-2-2718-8226 Ext. 213
Gwenyth Wang-Reeves, PhD
Senior Director of Government & Public Affairs
美國在台協會（AIT）台北辦事處處長酈英傑（William Brent Christensen）感謝美國商會會員扮演台美夥伴關係的重要橋樑。酈處長相信，透過台美合作，雙方可以找出創新的方法解決當前世界上的急迫議題。今年商會邀請到三位美國官方代表，透過預錄影片方式致詞：美國聯邦參議員馬基（Edward J. Markey）、美國務院次卿層級之參事蕭雷（Derek Chollet）及商務部主管亞洲事務之代理副助理部長史蒂芬斯（Richard Steffens）。
馬基參議員表示，台灣美國商會所建立的台美互動網絡，讓台美成為彼此的重要貿易夥伴，美國是台灣第二大貿易國，台灣則是美國前十大貿易夥伴。馬基參議員最近與其他三位跨黨派參議員推出台灣獎學金法案（Taiwan Fellowship Act），要讓美國官員可以到台灣唸書、研究與工作。
商務部參事（位階約等同於國務院次卿，國務卿政策顧問）蕭雷特別讚揚台灣面對疫情的處理能力，更感謝台灣捐贈醫療設備。他說，去年11月啟動的美台經濟繁榮夥伴對話（U.S.-Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership），將有助於深化雙邊產業交流。並強調，最近美國國務院更新與台灣官方互動準則，將有助於建立更廣泛的雙邊關係，反應更為穩固的台美關係。
盧恩廣 (Jack Lu)
+886-2-2718-8226 Ext. 213
王珮馨 (Gwenyth Wang-Reeves, PhD)