Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan and Colleagues Address AmCham Webinar

On June 28, AmCham Taiwan hosted a webinar with the Taoyuan City Government to provide information on government response to COVID-19 and relief efforts for businesses. The webinar – titled “COVID-19 Measures and Prospect of Taoyuan City” – featured a presentation and Q&A with Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan. He was joined by directors and staff from Taoyuan’s Secretariat, as well as its IT, Public Health, and Economic Development sections. AmCham Taiwan President Andrew Wylegela moderated the event.

In his opening remarks, Mayor Cheng emphasized Taoyuan’s importance as a travel and technology hub. To mitigate the impact of the pandemic on lives and businesses, Taoyuan has used multiple lines of defense to safeguard its population, including expanded COVID-19 testing, disinfection, and vaccination, while providing financial and logistical support to businesses.

Regarding vaccination, Taoyuan City Government noted that medical personnel, epidemic prevention workers in the central and local governments, frontline workers, and pregnant women currently can make appointments to be vaccinated. Additionally, foreign nationals with an ARC in designated priority groups are eligible for government-funded vaccines.

Photo Credit: Taoyuan City Government

Taoyuan’s daily vaccination capacity is dependent on their allocation by the central government. The city can now administer more than 10,000 doses daily, Taoyuan City Government said.

Speaking about relief loans, Cheng and colleagues informed AmCham members that Taoyuan offers services connecting businesses with loans and subsidies. More information can be found on the Taoyuan Department of Economic Development’s webpage.

Answering a question about migrant worker rights during the live Q&A session, Cheng emphasized that the Taoyuan government requires that companies treat migrant workers equally or face being penalized. The government said that it encourages migrant workers to stay in their dorms during the outbreak and provides them with entertainment and an allowance, but that they cannot be banned from going out. Taoyuan houses nearly 120,000 migrant workers, more than any other city in Taiwan.

To close the event, Andrew Wylegala thanked Mayor Cheng for answering member’s questions and for “sharing his vision for how Taiwan not only copes with but emerges stronger from the other side of this pandemic … we will do our best to channel all of this information to AmCham’s members using our website and other channels.”

AmCham Taiwan Hosts 2021 White Paper Press Conference

AmCham Taiwan held a virtual press conference on June 23 to announce the release of its 2021 Taiwan White Paper. The online event was hosted by AmCham Chairperson CW Chin and the Chamber’s new president, Andrew Wylegala, and was joined by around 30 members of the local and international media, as well as several government officials and Chamber members.

Chin opened the event by highlighting the importance of the White Paper and its 25-year history as an advocacy document representing the interests of the Taiwan business community, as well as a platform for the Chamber to articulate its vision for U.S.-Taiwan bilateral economic relations. Chin then introduced AmCham Taiwan’s new President, Andrew Wylegala, a veteran U.S. foreign service officer in the Department of Commerce.

In his remarks, Wylegala touched on key elements of this year’s White Paper, such as AmCham Taiwan’s multi-track advocacy strategy and the newly launched Taiwan Commercial Initiative (TCI), featured in the publication’s Messages to Washington section. In addition to restarting the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Talks, the TCI urges the U.S. government to continue and expand the Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue, launch public-private partnerships involving industry and government agencies on both sides, and include Taiwan in plurilateral talks between the U.S. and other regional partners. It culminates in negotiations for a U.S.-Taiwan Bilateral Trade Agreement.

See the full 2021 Taiwan White Paper presentation:

Chin concluded by stressing the need for Taiwan to adapt to the evolving world economy by accelerating digital transformation, increasing bilingualism, and addressing energy concerns. In addition, Chairperson Chin also highlighted that nearly 40% of the 2020 White Paper issues have been resolved or achieved significant progress – a new record for the publication.

During the media Q&A session, Wylegala emphasized that the Chamber will continue to support its member companies with resources and advocacy services should Taiwan extend the current Level 3 restrictions. Chin added that AmCham will strive to represent the interests of foreign-owned small and medium-sized businesses in Taiwan through its annual White Paper and other channels.

Regarding the much-anticipated TIFA talks, set to take place shortly, Wylegala said that he expects good progress as previous major trade impediments, such as Taiwan’s ban on the import of certain U.S. meat products, have now been cleared and new challenges, such as supply chain resilience, are being discussed.

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