AmCham Meets with Control Yuan

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Concerned about the low level of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Taiwan in recent years compared with other countries in the Asia Pacific, the government’s Control Yuan has set up a task force to look into the reasons and propose solutions. The four Control Yuan members making up the task force – Chang Kuei-Mei, Nancy Hsiao-Hung Chen, Lee Yueh-Der, and Liu Te-Hsun – invited representatives from AmCham Taipei and other foreign and domestic business organizations for a discussion of the issue on May 19.

The Control Yuan, one of the five branches of government in the Republic of China, is an investigatory body that monitors the other branches of government. Wikipedia compares it roughly to the Government Accountability Office of the United States, the Court of Auditors of the European Union, a political ombudsman, or a standing commission for administrative inquiry. After completing its study, the task force on FDI plans to submit a report for the reference of the Executive Yuan.

At the May 19 meeting, AmCham Taipei was represented by Senior Director of Government & Public Affairs Amy Chang and Government & Public Affairs Director Katrina Ku. Other organizations that participated in the session were the European Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan, the Chinese National Federation of Industries, and the Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association.

The business representatives mentioned the complicated regulatory process and Taiwan’s lack of Free Trade Agreements with major trading partners as factors that tend to retard investment.

AmCham Committees Connect with USTR

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One of AmCham Taipei’s most important functions is to provide a channel for the concerns of member companies to be communicated, through the Chamber’s committees, to the U.S. government.

Throughout the year there are numerous opportunities to interact with the Economic and Commercial Sections of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), and the annual Doorknock visit to Washington is a chance to meet with the key executive-branch agencies and Congressional offices interested in U.S.-Taiwan trade and investment relations.

Another such opportunity arises when the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) send a delegation to Taiwan, which often occurs in the lead-up to the annual bilateral negotiations under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).

Such a delegation was in Taipei for a week toward the end of April, consisting of officers from USTR, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and the AIT Washington office.

AmCham Taipei arranged for a series of meetings at which committee leaders briefed the U.S. government visitors on the latest developments in their sectors. The schedule included meetings covering the following topics:

  • Administrative Procedure Act
  • Agriculture
  • Imports & exports
  • Food safety
  • Retail
  • Intellectual Property & Licensing
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Medical Devices
  • Foreign investment
  • Private Equity

On behalf of the American delegation, Monica He of USTR expressed thanks to AmCham for providing a wide-ranging and thorough explanation of current issues. The 2016 round of the TIFA talks is expected to take place this fall.