A sizeable crowd of over 200, including members, guests, high-ranking government officials, and other VIPs, converged at the Taipei Guest House in Taipei’s Zhongzheng District on December 8 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan. Speaking at the event were President Tsai Ing-wen, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu, and American Institute in Taiwan Director Sandra Oudkirk.
The location for the celebration illustrated the strong and enduring relationship AmCham has cultivated with its Taiwan government partners over the years – the Taipei Guest House is generally reserved for receiving foreign dignitaries, as well as for state banquets and other official activities. AmCham was honored to be invited into this beautiful and historically significant venue to commemorate its seven decades of service to the international business community in Taiwan.
As guests began arriving, they posed for photographs in front of a 70th anniversary backdrop in the Western-style mansion’s foyer, visited sponsor booths, and had the opportunity to record a video wishing the Chamber a happy anniversary. The atmosphere was one of merriment, as members and friends old and new greeted and mingled with each other.
Inside the main reception hall, guests were treated to video remarks from U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Edward Markey, former AIT Directors William Stanton, Kin Moy, and Brent Christensen, and Taiwan Representative to the U.S. Hsiao Bi-khim. All emphasized the importance of the U.S.-Taiwan trade and economic relationship, as well as AmCham’s outsized role in helping develop that relationship over the many years.
At 7 p.m., the main portion of the event began. Chairperson Chin took the stage, which was set against the backdrop of the Taipei Guest House’s Japanese-style gardens. During his welcoming remarks, Chin reflected on some of the Chamber’s most notable accomplishments since its founding in 1951, including its involvement in shaping the U.S.’ Taiwan Relations Act in the late 1970s, as well as its support of Taiwan’s efforts to join the World Trade Organization’s precursor, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), in the early 2000s.
Minister Wu spoke next. He praised AmCham for its move to transition this year from “AmCham Taipei” to “AmCham Taiwan,” a name that better reflects the scope of the Chamber’s membership and business activities across the island. Following him was Director Oudkirk, who noted the many contributions of the American business community to Taiwan’s economy and the part AmCham has played in facilitating their success, all while being a reliable partner to AIT.
President Tsai, the evening’s keynote speaker, cited AmCham’s vaunted position in Taiwan’s history, explaining how the organization bore witness to Taiwan’s incredible economic development and its transformation from an authoritarian governing system to a thriving democracy. “As Taiwan persevered through historical challenges, AmCham Taiwan has always been a dependable friend and indispensable partner,” she said.
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Following the speeches, honored guests and AmCham Governors posed for photos, and a live band played a rousing collection of popular songs in English and Mandarin for attendees to enjoy. Meanwhile, President Tsai, Chairperson Chin, and other guests dined on fresh cuts of beef and other classic American dishes prepared by the Regent Taipei. A pop quiz yielded prizes for those with deep knowledge of the Chamber’s history and advocacy work.
At the end of the night, guests began to file out, picking up lavish gift bags featuring mementos from a few of the evening’s sponsors.
AmCham Taiwan is proud of its legacy as a voice for Taiwan’s global business community and a champion of strong U.S.-Taiwan relations. The Chamber looks forward to 70 more years as the premier international business association in Taiwan.