Taipei, Taiwan, April 19, 2023
President Tsai, AIT Director Oudkirk, Chairperson Rosenberger, Distinguished Guests, and my dear Chamber Members:
Good evening, and welcome to AmCham’s 55th annual Hsieh Nien Fan!
It’s my great pleasure to be with you tonight as we celebrate another successful year as Taiwan’s most influential international business organization. On behalf of the AmCham Board and our more than 1,100 members, I’d like to thank everyone involved in organizing this flagship event. Let’s give a round of applause for the unwavering support of staff, the Board of Governors and Supervisors, and stakeholders in making this evening possible.
Although we’ve held this event for 55 years, I can’t help but feel that this year is a bit special. The interest in our Hsieh Nien Fan was so great that we’re holding it at the Marriott for the first time to fit our record high 800 guests, who are all here because they believe in the power of collaboration – and definitely not for the free drinks we offered from the open bar outside!
But above all, this year is special because we find ourselves in a golden moment for business and international exchange. Our members’ continued dedication to the Taiwan market is a testament to the many opportunities available here. In fact, our Business Climate Survey shows that 88% of members plan to maintain or expand Taiwan investment – some by sponsoring the Hsieh Nien Fan.
The past year has not only seen investments in terms of dollars but also into the U.S.-Taiwan relationship – which, dare I say, is warmer than ever before.
The U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade, the Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue, and the Taiwan Enhanced Resilience Act are great examples of how the relationship has flourished.
Perhaps on all of our minds this evening is President Tsai’s recent transit through Los Angeles, where she met with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and a bipartisan group of congressional leaders. And as President Tsai commented during that event: “We are stronger when we are together.” This is true not only of the Taiwan-U.S. relationship but also of the Chamber.
I must also agree with Speaker McCarthy’s comment in early April: the U.S. and Taiwan must strengthen their economic cooperation, particularly with trade and technology. We look forward to even more investment, trade, and people-to-people exchanges in the coming years, and hope that a bilateral tax agreement, which would encourage more interactions, will soon be a reality.
As a devoted partner, AmCham offers our support to create substantial results from the 21st-Century talks. We recognize the need for decisive action to sustain Taiwan’s growth, and international trade agreements and streamlined regulations are critical components of that effort.
There has never been a better time to take action than now. Taiwan finds itself in a prime position to make use of the spotlight currently shining on it. At a time of division, fostering closer relationships with likeminded partners will help ensure strength through prosperity.
We hope that Taiwan takes full advantage of this year of opportunity and continues to innovate and expand its industries, propelling its economy toward the future it deserves. Taiwan must accelerate the speed of regulatory reform and create an open, investment-friendly, and agile business environment that puts it on the world map. By investing in energy stability and renewables, implementing good regulatory practice, and increasing the resilience of our supply chains, public healthcare, and digital infrastructure by adopting public cloud, we can create an environment where businesses and people thrive.
With that in mind, I want to take this moment to express our gratitude for the constructive relationship we enjoy with the Taiwan government. As you can see in the audience here tonight, the Taiwan government values engagement with industry. Among you sit approximately 140 government officials and representatives. They come from a wide range of agencies and roles, showcasing the broad support the Chamber enjoys, and we’re honored to have this opportunity to say thank you to each one of you in our Hsieh Nien Fan.
Although time unfortunately limits me from showing appreciation to each of our esteemed government guests individually, I want to thank the National Development Council and Minister Kung Ming-hsin. Thanks to your coordination efforts, we have yet again concluded a series of meetings to discuss the 2022 White Paper issues. The Chamber looks forward to working more closely with the government to foster a business environment that is investment-friendly and aligns with international standards.
Naturally, our Chamber would not have thrived into its 72nd year without the help of a second, critical government partner. AmCham is grateful to our good friends at AIT and the extraordinary support provided by Director Oudkirk. We are also honored to have AIT Chairperson Rosenberger as our special guest tonight, and we hope for more exchanges with you in the future.
I’d also like to give special mention to Amy Chang, who stepped in as AmCham’s President this spring on short notice. Amy plays an important role in keeping the Chamber stable and successful as we prepare to welcome a new Chamber President. We are very grateful for her commendable leadership in such a dynamic period of AmCham’s history.
Lastly, I want to extend my sincerest appreciation to Her Excellency President Tsai Ing-wen for joining us and delivering tonight’s keynote remarks. Since 2000, when the late President Lee Teng-hui gave the first presidential keynote speech at Hsieh Nien Fan, it’s been a tradition we have looked forward to every year. This is President Tsai’s seventh consecutive Hsieh Nien Fan, and we appreciate her support not only in her own attendance but also in bringing a great number of cabinet members to the occasion.
I would also like to congratulate President Tsai on receiving the Hudson Institute’s Global Leadership Award in late March. We too recognize your great courage and clear-eyed determination, as proven by the many achievements by you and your administration.
And a big thank you to everyone who took the time to attend our Hsieh Nien Fan. The Chamber looks forward to closer collaboration with you all in building strength through prosperity. I hope this night serves as a reminder of the things we can accomplish through dialogue and partnerships, and that the upcoming year will prove just how much stronger we are when we are together. Thank you again and please enjoy this wonderful evening.