AmCham Taiwan Releases its 2022 White Paper

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.

 

AmCham Taipei releases 2020 Taiwan White Paper

The 2020 Taiwan White Paper released on June 10 emphasizes the new opportunities for the Taiwan economy as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Some 30 reporters from local and international media attended the launch press conference presided over by AmCham Taipei Chairman C.W. Chin and President William Foreman.

2020 Taiwan White Paper News Conference

 

Following the press conference, the Chamber held a luncheon meeting in the Grand Ballroom of the Regent Taipei with over 130 members and guests in attendance. Guest speakers included American Institute in Taiwan Director W. Brent Christensen and the newly appointed National Development Council Minister, Kung Ming-hsin, who received the 2020 White Paper on behalf of the Taiwan government.

Minister Kung expressed optimism about Taiwan’s economy, citing the trend of Taiwanese businesses returning home, the country’s outstanding efforts in containing COVID-19, and new opportunities generated by U.S.-China trade tensions. Kung listed a few major projects the NDC would focus on in the coming years, including massive digital infrastructure investment and deepening U.S.-Taiwan relations. He also promised to continue working with the American side on breaking through the ongoing gridlock on U.S. imports of pork and beef.

In their briefing on the White Paper contents at both the press conference and membership luncheon, Chin and Foreman stressed the Chamber’s gratitude to Taiwan’s government for making Taiwan one of the safest places in the world during the pandemic.

  • Continuing progress – Of the 82 issues raised by AmCham Taipei’s industry committees this year, 11 – or 13% – were deemed resolved, a tie with the record-breaking 2018 White Papers. The 11 issues included two from the Insurance and Tax committees, and one each from the Cosmetics, Human Resources, Pharmaceutical, Technology, Telecom and Media, and Travel and Tourism sectors. Chin and Foreman emphasized that the consistently high number of resolved issues over the past three years demonstrated the Taiwan government’s willingness to work together with industries to reduce regulatory obstacles.
  • Remaining challenges – While changing world conditions present Taiwan with a golden opportunity to attract new investment, a clear roadmap for renewable energy development is needed to navigate these changes effectively. In addition, the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device sectors urge the National Health Insurance Administration to expand its budget to enable new and innovative treatments to reach the Taiwan market more quickly. AmCham’s Technology and Digital Economy committees emphasized that increased communication between government authorities and industry is needed to open the way for new business ideas based on digital platforms.
  • Ensuring sufficient talent – The 2020 Taiwan White Paper saw the addition of a new section containing suggestions for how to foster and maintain a pool of internationally minded, digitally savvy talent. This section was part of the Talent Circulation Alliance, a joint initiative between the American Institute in Taiwan and Taiwan governmental and non-governmental organizations. A printed supplement fleshing out the suggestions and ideas contained in the Talent Circulation Alliance White Paper was released simultaneously.

In his remarks, Director Christensen reiterated the Talent Circulation Alliance’s role in this year’s White Paper, highlighting the need for Taiwan to do more to attract and retain both local and foreign talent. He also noted that the state of U.S.-Taiwan relations is better than ever, describing the relationship as “real friends, real progress (真朋友; 真進步).”

 

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AmCham Taipei Called on Taiwanese Government Leaders

AmCham Taipei delegations in recent weeks called on Taiwanese government leaders, including President Tsai Ing-wen and Premier Su Tseng-chang, to brief them on the Chamber’s CEO Mission to Washington, D.C. in June. The session with the Premier was also attended by representatives of other departments within the Executive Yuan, including Minister Chen Mei-ling of the National Development Council. Other recent meetings were with Foreign Minister David Lee and Minister without Portfolio and Chief Trade Negotiator John Deng.

The AmCham delegations at the meetings were led by Chairman Leo Seewald and President William Foreman, and included other members of the Chamber leadership and staff who participated in the visit to Washington.

The briefings focused on the key objectives of this year’s CEO Mission:

  • Helping to lay the groundwork for eventual FTA negotiations between the U.S. and Taiwan.
  • Encouraging early resumption of the bilateral TIFA process, including scheduling of a TIFA Council meeting.
  • Urging the U.S. to send high-level (especially Cabinet-level) officials on visits to Taiwan more frequently.

Although the CEO Mission did not encounter any immediate breakthroughs on these issues, it came away encouraged by an increasingly positive atmosphere in Washington regarding relations with Taiwan.

2019 CEO Mission Holds Successful D.C. Visit

AmCham Taipei’s recent delegation to Washington, D.C. came away encouraged by prospects for improved economic relations between Taiwan and the U.S.

“The US-Taiwan relationship continues to move in a positive direction, and we’re optimistic about the two sides eventually resuming TIFA talks after a nearly three-year hiatus,” said Chamber President William Foreman, referring to the main channel of trade negotiations between the two countries.

“The U.S. government also appears open to considering other ways to strengthen the relationship, such as entering into negotiations on the equivalent of a chapter of a free trade agreement,” Foreman added.

AmCham is therefore urging the Taiwan government to continue to push for U.S. consideration of Taiwan as a suitable candidate for a bilateral trade agreement. Successful TIFA (Trade and Investment Framework Agreement) consultations could help pave the way for such consideration.

Formerly known as the “Doorknock,” the annual trip was rebranded this year as AmCham Taipei’s “CEO Mission to Washington” to stress the delegation’s strategic and high-level nature. Conducted the week of June 17, the mission was led by Foreman together with Chamber Chairman Leo Seewald.

The group held a total of 35 meetings with executive branch agencies (including the National Security Council, State Department, and Office of the U.S. Trade Representative), members of Congress and their staffs, think tanks, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office, and others concerned with U.S.-Taiwan economic relations.

Delegation with the National Security Council

Delegation with the State Department

Delegation with the U.S. Trade Representative

The heightened frustration in the U.S. over China’s unfair trade practices has led to increased support for bolstering economic ties with Taiwan, the delegation found. At the same time, Taiwan’s restrictions on the importation of certain U.S. beef and pork products remains a serious trade irritant.

Delegation with chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan, Ambassador James Moriarty

As always on the annual visit to Washington, AmCham stressed Taiwan’s economic and strategic importance for the U.S. It called attention to Taiwan’s status as America’s 11th largest trading partner, its vibrant democracy and adherence to rule of law, and deep involvement in the supply chains of leading U.S. technology companies.

AmCham “CEO Mission to Washington” Trip

Each year, the release of the Taiwan White Paper is followed by a “CEO Mission to Washington”. The central purpose of the trip is to promote the Chamber’s agenda for this year and facilitate its advocacy efforts. The delegation will exchange views with U.S. government officials, members of Congress, think tanks, and others interested in the U.S.-Taiwan economic relationship. This is an opportunity for AmCham to provide briefings on the business climate in Taiwan and to learn about the latest developments in U.S. policy toward Taiwan, especially at a time of growing pressure from China.

The group will present the Taiwan White Paper to contacts in Washington and remind them of the economic and strategic importance of Taiwan. In the Messages to Washington section of the Taiwan White Paper, AmCham urges the U.S. administration and Congress to take into consideration ways to broaden and deepen the American relationship with Taiwan.

Read or download the complete Taiwan White Paper.

  • Suggestion 1: Enter into negotiations with Taiwan for a bilateral trade agreement (BTA).
  • Suggestion 2: Set the stage for BTA negotiations through the resumption of TIFA Council meetings.
  • Suggestion 3: Arrange more high-level government visits in both directions.
  • Suggestion 4: Implement tax reforms to relieve burdens on Americans overseas and help promote U.S. exports.

AmCham releases the 2019 Taiwan White Paper

AmCham Taipei released its 2019 Taiwan White Paper on May 29 at a news conference attended by more than 40 journalists, who raised questions on such subjects as development of the digital economy, labor policy, energy policy, and the likely impact on Taiwan of the U.S.-China trade war.

AmCham Chairman Leo Seewald briefed the attendees on the highlights of the 2019 Taiwan White Paper:

  • Another year with major progress – Of the 71 issues put forward to the Taiwan government in the 2018 Taiwan White Paper for improvement of the business climate, eight were rated solved – three less than the all-time record of 11 last year. The eight issues included four from the cosmetics industry and one each from the Agro-chemicals, Capital Markets, Human Resources, and the Telecommunications and Media sectors. Another 15 issues were cited as showing good progress.
  • Challenges for Taiwan – Taiwan continues to face political pressure from China, economic fallout from the U.S.-China trade war, and internal challenges such as the rapidly aging population and shortages of land, labor, and other resources.
  • Positive developments – The U.S.-China tariff war also provides opportunities for Taiwan to attract manufacturing investment. The warm relationship with the U.S. offers hope that a bilateral trade agreement (BTA) could be negotiated.
  • The importance of innovation – Taiwan is on the right track in focusing attention on the “5+2 Innovative Industries” to enhance its global competitiveness.
  • The urgent need for focus – As there is no guarantee as to how long the current favorable conditions will last, this is a critical point in time. Taiwan cannot afford to be let the upcoming presidential election campaigns totally distract public attention from the crucial reform agenda.

2019 Taiwan White Paper Presentation from AmCham Taipei

Following the conference, the Chamber held a luncheon meeting in the Grand Ballroom of the Regent Taipei. Over 100 members and guests were at the event, including Minister Chen Mei-ling of the National Development Council (NDC), who accepted the White Paper on behalf of the Taiwan government. The minister thanked and praised AmCham Taipei for providing suggestions that will “help build a more internationalized business environment in Taiwan.” She said the government worked hard to eliminate the obstacles to investment cited in the White Paper.

Chen also asked AmCham member companies’ help in promoting the government’s three current flagship projects:

  • Regional Revitalization. Encouraging business investment in cities outside of Taipei, especially those in the Southern part of Taiwan, to bring value to unique industries that are suitable for various cities and towns.
  • Bilingual Nation. Promoting English as an official language to enhance Taiwan’s international competitiveness.
  • Smart Government. Improve government systems by integrating innovative smart services so that 98% of all government procedures can be performed online by 2025.

The Chamber thanks the NDC and the 23 government agencies for their continued support in coordinating cross-ministerial meetings to discuss AmCham’s issues and taking the Chamber’s suggestions into consideration. AmCham Taipei looks forward to working more closely with the government to promote economic growth and ensure that Taiwan remains a vigorous part of the international community.

2018 AmCham Doorknock – June 18-22

The Chamber’s annual “Doorknock” visit to Washington DC this year took place between June 18 and 22. The group held a total of 45 meetings, including calls on the State Department, Commerce Department, National Security Council, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, dozens of Congressional offices, and leading think tanks. The delegation, which was led by AmCham President William Foreman and Vice Chairman Leo Seewald, was also invited for tea by Taiwan’s representative in Washington, Stanley Kao, at the Twin Oaks estate owned by Taiwan.

Delegation members visit the State Department.

The Doorknock group with Commerce Department officials.

A central purpose of the Doorknock was to remind contacts in Washington of “why Taiwan matters,” including its rank as the United States’ 11th largest trading partner, integral role in the supply chain of major American technology companies, vibrant democracy, and sharing of basic American values. The delegation also urged the U.S. government to schedule regular consultations with Taiwan under the bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) umbrella, explore entering into negotiations for a bilateral trade agreement, and send more high-level American officials on visits to Taiwan. In both executive and legislative branch offices, the group heard expressions of desire to deepen the economic relationship between the United States and Taiwan, especially if existing trade differences surrounding the export of U.S. meat products could be resolved.

The delegation was received at the U.S. Trade Representative.

Delegation members with Congressman Gregg Harper (R-MS).

Besides Foreman and Seewald, other members of the delegation included Wendy Lin, General Manager of Johnson & Johnson Taiwan and a co-chair of AmCham’s Pharmaceutical Committee; Petra Jumpers, General Manager of Eli Lilly and Co. (Taiwan) and another Pharmaceutical Committee co-chair; Christine Kuan, External Affairs & Market Access Director at Bristol-Myers Squibb (Taiwan), representing the Public Health Committee; Natasha Lai, Senior New Product Planning & Government Affairs Manager for Eli Lilly (Taiwan); T.K. Lo, Technical & Regulatory Manager at Amway Taiwan; Lynn Cinelli, Director of Emerging Markets Public Policy for Merck Sharp & Dohme; Nathan Kaiser of the law firm Eiger; Don Shapiro, AmCham Senior Director and Editor-in-Chief of Taiwan Business TOPICS; and Any Chang, AmCham Senior Director for Government and Public Affairs.

For many meetings they were joined by the Washington-based representatives of AmCham member companies or cooperative organizations, including AdvaMed, Amway, Bechtel, Cigna, Herbalife, Medtronic, Microsoft, Prudential, and Versum Materials.

While traversing the halls of Congress, the AmCham Doorknockers met a large delegation of Taiwanese-American businesspeople from the World Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce who were on a similar mission.

2018 Messages to Washington

Following release each year of the Taiwan White PaperAmCham Taipei sends a delegation to Washington D.C. for what is called the “Washington Doorknock.” This year’s Doorknock will take place June 18-22, and will involve more than 40 meetings with U.S. government officials from the executive and legislative branch offices, think tanks, and others interested in the U.S.-Taiwan economic relationship. It is always an excellent opportunity for AmCham to provide briefings on the state of the business climate in Taiwan and to learn about the latest developments in U.S. policy toward Taiwan and the Asian region.

The Messages to Washington section of the Taiwan White Paper outlines the essential points AmCham wishes to share with the U.S. government, as shown in the accompanying infographicDownload the complete Taiwan White Paper.

 

AmCham’s 13 Issues for Special Attention

During the preparation of the 2018 Taiwan White Paper, AmCham Taipei’s committees reviewed and rated the status of issues raised in the 2017 White Paper. Based on a five-tier scale, 21 items were placed in Category 2, meaning “Showing Good Progress.” Of the 21 items, eight were identified by the committees as having strong enough progress that the issue did not need to be raised again. The other 13 issues rated in Category 2 reappear in this year’s White Paper. 

Although all of the 76 suggestions raised in this year’s Taiwan White Paper are important and deserve consideration, AmCham Taipei recommends that the authorities pay special attention to these re-raised 13 issues below. Committee experts are confident that the positive momentum from this past year’s collaboration with the Taiwan government through the National Development Council will continue, hopefully enabling these 13 issues to be fully resolved.

AmCham Taipei has put together an infographic summarizing these Category 2 issues, spanning across 8 industries from Banking to Travel & Tourism.

 

AmCham Delegation Calls on Premier Lai  

AmCham Taipei representatives led by Chairman Albert Chang met with Premier William Lai on March 1 to brief him on the results of AmCham Taipei’s 2018 Business Climate Survey in advance of the public announcement on March 7. The Premier was accompanied by National Development Council Minister Chen Mei-ling and other officials from the Executive Yuan.

In addition, the Chamber thanked the government for recent progress in dealing with issues from AmCham’s Taiwan White Paper, particularly the preparation currently underway for implementing a Patent Linkage system for pharmaceuticals.

Chang also expressed AmCham’s desire to work in close partnership with the government in the months ahead to encourage increased foreign investment in Taiwan to help spur economic growth and job creation – for example by holding a series of forums to be attended by high-level executives from the Chamber’s member committees. The Premier replied that the government would strongly welcome that initiative.

The AmCham delegation consisted of:

  • AmCham Taipei Chairman Albert Chang, Managing Partner, McKinsey & Company Taiwan
  • William Foreman, AmCham Taipei President.
  • Leo Seewald, AmCham Taipei Vice Chairman, Chairman / Managing Director, BlackRock Investment Management (Taiwan) Limited
  • Vincent Shih, AmCham Taipei Vice Chairman, IP & Licensing & Government Relations Committee Co-Chair, General Manager, Corporate, External, and Legal Affairs of Microsoft Taiwan
  • Fupei Wang, AmCham Taipei Secretary, CSR Committee Co-chairs, Managing Director, Ogilvy Public Relations
  • Don Shapiro, AmCham Taipei Senior Director and Editor-in-Chief, Taiwan Business TOPICS
  • Amy Chang, AmCham Taipei Senior Director of Government and Public Affairs