On August 19 AmCham Taiwan travelled to the southern port city of Kaohsiung for the first event in a new series called “Living AmCham Taiwan”. The series will visit towns and cities across Taiwan to deepen links with local governments and learn from AmCham member companies based in those locations. The Kaohsiung event was held at the Intercontinental Kaohsiung.
We were proud to be joined by Kaohsiung City Mayor Chen Chi-Mai who introduced Kaohsiung’s history as an important trading port and gave guests an exciting insight into what the future holds for this city of over 2.7 million people. Kaohsiung made headlines recently as AmCham Taiwan member TSMC is constructing a new facility in the city, which will further solidify Kaohsiung’s position as a major manufacturing base. Mayor Chen told guests that when Taiwan was facing drought in 2019, it was Kaohsiung that supplied critical water supplies to TSMC in order for them to continue production. Mayor Chen emphasized that while many of Kaohsiung’s science parks are reaching capacity, new development of around 80 hectares has been secured for companies to set up in the city.
On the talent side, Mayor Chen mentioned programs at some of Kaohsiung’s leading education institutions, most notably National Sun Yat-sen University, as a critical piece of the puzzle in attracting businesses and investment to come to Kaohsiung. He also said he believes that now is the time for Kaohsiung’s youth to return to the city, as historically many have left for job opportunities in Taiwan’s north and central regions. As part of the central government’s policy of attracting return investment from Taiwanese businesses abroad, NT$500 billion (US$1.6 billion) has been invested in the city since 2019.
Mayor Chen concluded his speech by emphasizing that Kaohsiung features public transport and other infrastructure befitting a modern city, from the expanding Kaohsiung MRT and light rail network to the port facilities which have undergone major redevelopment over the past decade.
Wrapping up our visit to Kaohsiung, guests were invited to join onsite visits which were kindly arranged by Kaohsiung City Government Economic Development Bureau. We visited the Taiwan Startup Terrace, a flagship entrepreneurial hub focusing on 5G and AIoT technologies which is currently looking for new tenant companies to move in. Brogent Technologies Inc., a company that builds immersive virtual ‘flying theater’ experiences, was our second stop for a virtual tour of the USA. Guests also joined a boat tour of the Asia New Bay harbor to view the revitalization of Kaohsiung’s waterfront.
Our next Living AmCham Taiwan event will be held in Taoyuan on September 16. We do hope you can join us!