2024 Hsieh Nien Fan Remarks by Dan Silver, Chairperson of AmCham Taiwan

Taipei, Taiwan, March 28, 2024

(As Prepared)

President Tsai, Director Oudkirk, Distinguished Guests, Chamber Members:

Good evening, and welcome to AmCham’s 56th Hsieh Nien Fan.

It’s an honor to be with you tonight as we celebrate another successful year as Taiwan’s most influential international business organization.

On behalf of the Board of Governors and our more than 1,200 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 in making this evening possible.

We’ve held this event for 56 years, but few moments have been as favorable for business and international exchange as today.

Taiwan has once again demonstrated that it’s one of the best places to do business. Our members’ dedication to this market is a testament to the opportunities available here – 92% of our members plan to maintain or expand their investments here in 2024.

These investments include new offices, R&D, staff, and even tickets to our Hsieh Nien Fan, which in recent years has become an incredibly popular investment. I have it on good authority that tickets to tonight’s event sold out faster than a Taylor Swift concert…

… and I’d dare say that Hsieh Nien Fan is a lot more economical than what Singapore paid.

The past year has not only seen investments in dollars but also new momentum in the U.S.-Taiwan relationship.

Last year, we were delighted to see the first agreement under the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade. We’ve also seen progress on double taxation avoidance, a long-standing advocacy issue for AmCham.

A record number of visits by members of the U.S. Congress, executive agencies, governors, and think tanks, and the opening of new state offices are prime demonstrations of the commitment to Taiwan from across the Pacific. An impressive 20 U.S. states and Guam now have offices here.

AmCham believes that a comprehensive Bilateral Trade Agreement would be optimal for both sides. We will continue to press the case. At AmCham, we believe that every sincere effort to strengthen engagement between the U.S. and Taiwan should be actively, urgently embraced. The Taiwan Fellowship Act is one such effort.

This act symbolizes a profound commitment to mutual understanding and cooperation. Last weekend, President Biden signed into law a new spending package that includes additional funding for the Act.

The TFA gives Taiwan the authority to decide which departments fellows work in. It strategically enhances the partnership with the United States. It is rooted in the spirit of reciprocity and paves the way for meaningful exchange of expertise and insights. We hope that it will be implemented without further delay.

There has never been a better time to take action. Taiwan has positioned itself as a leader willing to foster closer relationships with like-minded partners, ensuring strength through prosperity and interconnectedness.

This January, we witnessed another exemplary election, paving the way for the smooth transition of power. This is a testament to the strength of Taiwan’s democracy. As an American, I have come to learn that transitions of power can sometimes be a little rocky…

And speaking of smooth transitions, please join me in applause for Vice President-elect Bi-khim Hsiao, who is with us tonight.

Taiwan has moved from the periphery of the democratic world to the center of it. It is a global role model. It falls on all of us to ensure that Taiwan maintains positive attention and is not sidelined.

We hope that Taiwan will continue to innovate and expand its industries. This is what propels its economy ever forward. To do so, Taiwan can deepen the spirit of good regulatory practice. It can reinforce a consultative, innovation-friendly, and agile business environment that cements its position on the world stage.

Taiwan can lead the way in future-oriented regulations that respond to the world’s emerging technologies. AmCham and the U.S. business community believe that Good Regulatory Practice is what creates effective blueprints for the future.

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 here tonight, this government values engagement with industry.

Among you sit approximately 150 government officials and representatives. They come from a wide range of agencies and roles. Their presence showcases the broad support the Chamber enjoys and we are honored to have this opportunity to say thank you to each one of you attending our Hsieh Nien Fan.

I want to express my gratitude especially to the National Development Council and Minister Kung. Thanks to your coordination efforts, we have just concluded a series of meetings addressing our White Paper issues.

The Chamber looks forward to working even more closely with the government. We want to help foster a business environment that aligns with international standards and is an inspiration for the region.

Naturally, our Chamber would not have thrived into its 73rd year without the help of another critical partner. We are grateful to our good friends at AIT and the strong support from Director Oudkirk. Under your leadership, AIT has become a more open, approachable, and dynamic institution, ready to engage with private and public interlocutors.

We particularly appreciate your support for diversity and inclusion, women in business, and your tireless efforts to strengthen U.S.-Taiwan cybersecurity collaboration. As you move to your next endeavor, you will be missed. And there will always be a slice of pecan pie for you at the AmCham office.

Lastly, I want to extend my sincerest appreciation to Her Excellency President Tsai for joining us and delivering tonight’s keynote remarks.

For those who don’t know, I was Chairperson the year President Tsai was inaugurated, so this is somewhat of a full-circle moment for me. What an 8 years it has been. Since 2016, AmCham membership has grown 20%. Taiwan’s GDP has grown an even more impressive 39% – but I’d like to remind you that it’s not a competition.

President Tsai – you have truly distinguished yourself as a leader in the free world during your time in office.

Through active engagement and with an open mind, your administration has been a tremendous friend to AmCham. You have continuously demonstrated your commitment to our members. For that, and for your outstanding leadership, we extend our sincere thanks.

It’s my pleasure to host you again this evening in my capacity as Chairperson of AmCham.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome once again, and enjoy your evening.