For the first time, AmCham held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) online on November 16. The meeting headline was the resounding approval of the Merger Plan to transform AmCham Taipei into AmCham Taiwan, a process begun almost a year ago at our last AGM. To underscore the significance of the occasion, over 200 participants heard remarks from two special guests: American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Sandra Oudkirk and Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the United States Representative Hsiao Bi-khim. AmCham Chairperson CW Chin, President Andrew Wylegala, and Senior Director of Finance & Administration Jessica Chen summarized the Chamber’s achievements and status, which include the largest financial surplus in a decade, as well as the largest number of members in our 70-year history. Chin announced the founding of AmCham’s newest industry committee covering semiconductors. Finally, an update to the Chamber’s Articles of Association was approved.
Remarks by VIP Guest Speakers
In remarks warmly congratulating AmCham Taiwan, Representative Hsiao noted how significant the Chamber’s contributions have been to the U.S.-Taiwan bilateral relationship. Furthermore, its policy recommendations have greatly enhanced Taiwan’s business environment. Hsiao also emphasized Taiwan’s strong desire to achieve a Bilateral Trade Agreement through close collaboration with AmCham.
AIT Director Sandra Oudkirk, in turn, underscored the closeness of the AIT-AmCham relationship, exemplified by the number of Chamber events she has recently joined, or will join in the coming weeks. She then provided a comprehensive overview of leading initiatives and sectors of shared interest, singling out public health and medicine, semiconductors, smart mobility, 5G, and cybersecurity as fields meriting the closest attention through our private-public partnership.
Practicing resilience to keep business moving
Taking NGOs and for-profit companies online for governance meetings is new in Taiwan. Like “the making of laws and sausage,” the behind-the-scenes work of producing a first-of-its-kind virtual meeting under strict oversight is best observed at a distance, if at all. The determined staff of AmCham Taiwan had to overcome innumerable challenges, which included a rare internet outage at our building a mere 15 hours before meeting’s initiation, and the challenge of ensuring voting procedures worked for users joining via desktops, tablets, and mobile devices. Identifying and documenting voting participants and achieving our mandated quorum were challenges, but ones that, pulling together, we surmounted.
With a lot of help from our friends
AmCham could never have navigated the complexities of still-evolving regulator guidelines without the extensive pro bono support of law firm member Winkler Partners. We are also grateful to Cisco for providing us with a robust platform for the webinar, Deloitte for auditing our balloting, Grant Thornton for providing financial advice, and Baker McKenzie for a hand with revising our Articles of Association.
This year’s AGM was separated from voting for the 2022 Board of Governors and Supervisors, which was accomplished entirely by mail for the first time. The election results can be viewed here.
The 14 staff members of AmCham Taiwan wish to express gratitude for the support received throughout this year of challenge and change from the current Board. We also congratulate the incoming Board, and the Board candidates, who continue to impress and inspire us with their drive, can-do spirit, and volunteerism.
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.