Nearly 40 reporters from local and international media outlets converged at the Regent Taipei on June 22 as AmCham announced the release of its 2022 Taiwan White Paper. The press conference, led by AmCham Taiwan Vice Chairperson Andrea Wu and President Andrew Wylegala, was followed by a special luncheon for members and their guests.
Wylegala opened the event by highlighting the importance of the White Paper and its 26-year history as the Chamber’s signature annual advocacy document representing the interests of the Taiwan business community, as well as a platform for AmCham to articulate its vision for U.S.-Taiwan bilateral economic relations. Additionally, Wylegala expressed optimism regarding future trade relations and highlighted many promising trade initiatives involving Taiwan and the U.S., such as the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade, the Technology Trade and Investment Collaboration (TTIC) framework, and multilateral agreements on digitalization and chip supply chains.
In her remarks, Wu touched on important topics from this year’s White Paper, including AmCham Taiwan’s extended multi-track advocacy strategy and members’ requests for fast-tracking digitalization, accelerating the reopening of borders, reducing double taxation, and driving sustainability.
Wu stressed that Taiwan currently finds itself in a “golden moment” of international attention and goodwill following its impressive economic performance and international contribution during the pandemic, but that it must do more to ensure that its hard efforts are not in vain. In this year’s White Paper, AmCham members urged Taiwan to speed up its digital transformation, enhance bilingualism, and address energy concerns to better facilitate international trade and investment.
During the media Q&A session, Wu noted that the overall tone of 2022 White Paper’s is more urgent and direct than in the past because the number of committee issues that had been resolved in the last year fell in comparison to the year before. AmCham members hope Taiwan can accelerate the pace of its reform and development and seize the golden opportunity presented to it in the post-pandemic world.
Wu also voiced hope that the government would further promote the Gold Card visa program and review and update its 2030 Bilingual policy to attract more foreign talent. Meanwhile, Wylegala stressed the importance of training and circulating specialized labor, naming the Talent Circulation Alliance as an initiative with significant potential. He also noted that “talent is key to our member companies and our future.”
The press conference was followed by a luncheon attended by around 120 AmCham members and their guests, as well as special guest Deputy Minister of the National Development Council Kao Shien-quey. Following a presentation by Wylegala and Wu, Kao was invited to the stage to receive a copy of the White Paper. In a speech, she expressed her gratitude to AmCham for its long-term advice on improvements to Taiwan’s investment environment and for supporting the strengthening of U.S.-Taiwan economic and trade relations.
Kao noted that the recently announced U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade is a historic breakthrough in Taiwan-U.S. relations and requested AmCham’s assistance in steadily advancing the objective of negotiating a bilateral trade agreement. The minister cited a number of recent government initiatives that address some of AmCham members’ most pressing issues, including energy stability, digitalization, and the reopening of borders.
Finally, Kao thanked AmCham for its long-term support and assistance to Taiwan. “At this critical moment for Taiwan-U.S. relations, the Chamber plays an even more important role than before,” she said.