ARCs Will Get New Numbering System

During an interview with AmCham Taipei’s Taiwan Business TOPICS about immigration, Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung disclosed that the current coding format for Alien Residence Certificates (ARCs) – two letters from the English alphabet followed by eight Arabic numerals – will be changed to conform with the coding format of Taiwan’s National Identity Card number issued to citizens. This change to one letter from the English alphabet followed by nine Arabic numerals is designed to provide greater convenience to foreign nationals living in Taiwan, providing another incentive for them to stay, the Minister said.

After the revision, foreign nationals will be able to shop online, book tickets, and register for medical care or various types of membership using the same procedure as Taiwanese nationals. The Ministry of the Interior says it will coordinate with other ministries and important industrial and commercial groups to help integrate the various information systems and facilities of the public and private sectors.

Richard Bush on U.S.-China-Taiwan Relations

Richard Bush, one of the leading authorities on U.S.-China-Taiwan relations, spoke on that subject to AmCham Taipei members and guests on October 25, filling the Lincoln Room to capacity. Besides his prepared remarks, which included a salute to AmCham for its contributions to fostering strong U.S.-Taiwan relations, he took questions during a lengthy Q&A period.

A former Chairman and Managing Director of the American Institute in Taiwan (1997-2002), Bush is currently a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. where he holds the Chen-fu and Cecilia Yen Koo Chair in Taiwan Studies. Prior to AIT and Brookings in 2002, he worked on Taiwan and other Asia issues at the House Foreign Affairs Committee (1983-1995) and National Intelligence Council (1995-1997).

Bush is the author of such books as At Cross Purposes: U.S.-Taiwan Relations Since 1942, Untying the Knot: Making Peace in the Taiwan Strait, and Uncharted Strait: The Future of China-Taiwan Relations.

From left to right: Richard C. Bush, Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy of Center for East Asia Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution and AmCham Taipei President William Foreman

The Lincoln Room is made possible by the generosity of a number of sponsoring companies:

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Note: AmCham events are intended primarily for AmCham members and their guests. Many events are open to members’ guests and other non-members, but the attendance of any non-member must be approved in advance. AmCham reserves the right not to admit a non-member to any event without explanation. 

AstraZeneca Taiwan Announces Expansion Plans on 70th Anniversary

AmCham Taipei member AstraZeneca Taiwan, the local arm of the global biopharmaceutical firm, celebrated the 70th anniversary of its founding on September 25. It became one of the very first foreign investors in Taiwan when its forerunner, Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) of the UK, set up operations in Taiwan in 1948 to bring an anti-malarial drug to this market, contributing to Taiwan becoming the first malaria-free area in the Western Pacific in 1965.

Zeneca, a spin-off from ICI, merged with Astra AB of Sweden in 1999 to form the current London-based company.

At a press conference and later at a reception at the Westin Hotel, AstraZeneca used the occasion of the anniversary observance to announce plans to invest an additional NT$1 billion (over US$32 million) in Taiwan over the next three years. AstraZeneca Taiwan president Simon Manners said the company will launch 10 new medicines by 2021, three of which have received priority approval from the Taiwan Food & Drug Administration. It will also triple its spending on clinical research and development in Taiwan and create more than 140 new jobs in medical affairs, clinical research, and marketing and sales, increasing the total workforce to 430 employees.

A statement from the company said the investment “reflects our commitment to address the unmet needs in non-communicable diseases, to enable high-value job creation, and to advance biopharmaceutical innovation in Taiwan.” The anniversary ceremony also involved the signing of a Letter of Intent with the Ministry of Science and Technology to help develop local R&D talent.

In an interview with AmCham Senior Director and Taiwan Business TOPICS Editor-in-chief Don Shapiro, Manners stressed the significance of AstraZeneca’s initiatives for Taiwan’s increasingly elderly population. He noted the company’s “rich pipeline of innovative new medicines” for such diseases as diabetes, lung cancer, and cardiovascular disorders – all illnesses that occur with greater frequency in older people. “The new medicines we are bringing will not only help people live longer, but also live longer with a good quality of life,” he said.

Manners also praised Taiwan as a location for conducting clinical trials, citing the excellent professionalism of its doctors and the high quality of the data produced. “We are the number one initiator of clinical trials in Taiwan of any multinational company, and the number two overall,” he said.

While visiting Taiwan for the anniversary festivities, Joris Silon, AstraZeneca’s Vice President for the Asia Area, told Shapiro that “we are very proud of our 70 years of heritage here.”

“This is a day of celebrating the very successful delivery of benefits to patients in Taiwan since 1948,” he noted. “It’s very exciting. Taiwan is an important part of our business, and we’re very committed to this market.”

Forum Highlights Benefits of Private Equity

AmCham Taipei, along with the U.S.-Taiwan Business Council based in the Washington DC area, provided support for a Sept. 14 forum entitled “Private Equity in Taiwan: A Pathway to Growth.” The event was jointly organized by the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

In recent years Taiwan has attracted very little private equity (PE) investment, following some high-profile cases in which investment applications by PE firms were either rejected or dragged on until the applicant withdrew. The forum appeared to be a welcome indication that the Taiwan authorities are now actively seeking to woo PE investment.

Speeches by three government speakers – MOEA Deputy Minister Kung Ming-hsin, National Development Council Deputy Minister Cheng Cheng-Mount, and Financial Supervisory Commission Vice Chairperson Huang Tien-mu – all stressed the value that PE investment could bring to the Taiwan economy, aiding in industrial upgrading, innovation, and expansion of global markets.

Two panel discussions – one of them moderated by AmCham Vice Chairman Leo Seewald, chairman of BlackRock Taiwan – provided an opportunity for prominent financial-services executives from Taiwan and elsewhere in the region to explore the benefits of PE for Taiwan in some detail. One theme was the large number of successful family-owned enterprises in Taiwan in which the founder-chairman is quite elderly but the younger family members lack the ability or interest to take over. Cooperation with PE investors can offer a solution, enabling the family to continue to benefit financially without having to take responsibility for the management.

We’re Hiring: Opening for Associate Editor

The American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei is seeking a full-time Associate Editor for its Taiwan Business TOPICS monthly publication and TOPICS Online. The job requires a high professional level of reporting and editing skills, and a working ability in Mandarin Chinese.  Experience in business journalism is preferred. Interested parties should contact Jessica Chen at [email protected] with their resumés and cover letters.

A Party for AmCham’s 67th Birthday 

More than 120 AmCham Taipei members and guests turned out on September 20 to help the Chamber celebrate the 67th anniversary of its establishment in 1951. The event was held in the elegant Xifu Hall on the 9th floor of the Grand Mayfull Hotel in Taipei’s fast-growing Dazhi District. Attendees enjoyed an evening of convivial conversation and networking while partaking of sparkling wine and other beverages, as well as a delicious selection of dishes on the buffet line.

The event was jointly sponsored by Crate & Barrel, which offered VIP membership sign-up and a gift bag containing a crystal wine glass, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ InvesTaiwan office responsible for promoting foreign investment.

2018 Anniversary Cocktail – American Institute in Taiwan Deputy Director Raymond Greene

Brief remarks were delivered by American Institute in Taiwan Deputy Director Raymond Greene, AmCham Taipei President Bill Foreman, Amcham Taipei Chairman Albert Chang, and InvesTaiwan Director-general Emile Chang.

On behalf of AIT, Greene extended congratulations to AmCham on its anniversary and expressed appreciation for the Chamber’s unstinting efforts to foster trade and investment between Taiwan and the United States.

Foreman related the pride he has felt since taking office at the beginning of this year in leading an organization whose members contribute so much to Taiwan’s economic prosperity and thereby to its security and social stability.

Albert Chang called attention to some of AmCham Taipei’s signal achievements over the past year, including resolution of a record number of White Paper issues and arranging for Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Alex Wong to speak at the Chamber’s Hsieh Nien Fan banquet.

2018 Anniversary Cocktail – InvesTaiwan Director-general Emile Chang

Emile Chang invited AmCham member companies to avail themselves of the investment-related services of his organization.

Members and friends of the Chamber are reminded to mark their calendars for the next big social event on the AmCham agenda: the 2018 American Ball, “Aloha Hawaii,” November 3 at the Grand Hyatt Taipei.

View the full photo gallery here.

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Note: AmCham events are intended primarily for AmCham members and their guests. Many events are open to members’ guests and other non-members, but the attendance of any non-member must be approved in advance. AmCham reserves the right not to admit a non-member to any event without explanation.

Developing Habits to Improve Leadership Presence

Presence has become a critical factor for today’s professionals. How you present yourself to others and having the ability to make lasting impressions is crucial to your success.

With the aim to provide development tools for business leaders, AmCham Taipei invited Rober Iyer, Executive and Training Coach of Inspiyer, to conduct a half-day seminar on “Executive Presence: 5 Steps to Creating Leadership Presence” at the Chamber’s Lincoln Room.

Iyer explained that leadership presence is a blend of how you present yourself, make people feel, and effectively communicate to others. He highlighted qualities leaders should have to develop presence:

  • Communication: clearly using verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Character/Substance: showing warmth, knowledge, wisdom
  • Authenticity: staying true to yourself and others, creating trust
  • Attentiveness: staying attuned to the current moment during communication
  • Confidence: knowing yourself; staying cool under pressure
  • Connectedness: having the ability to feel bonded to others

Using the example of the first televised Presidential debate between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy, Iyer demonstrated the impact first impressions can make on election outcomes. As the story goes, those who listened to the debate on the radio thought Nixon won, while those who watched the debate on television believed Kennedy won. Attendees were asked to observe the two candidates’ body language and behavior to learn the importance of non-verbal communication.

In the second half of the seminar, Iyer discussed the power of non-verbal communications and shared a few tips on using body language to improve presence.

The Lincoln Room is made possible by the generosity of a number of sponsoring companies:

Interested in attending our events? Join us at other upcoming events, click here.

Note: AmCham events are intended primarily for AmCham members and their guests. Many events are open to members’ guests and other non-members, but the attendance of any non-member must be approved in advance. AmCham reserves the right not to admit a non-member to any event without explanation. 

Brand Building in the Digital Era

Today’s increasingly digital world demands new ways to build and manage brands. To ensure brand relevance, brand building calls for a new approach to connect and deliver brand behavior and experiences.

On July 27, Simon Koh, founder of Big Data Play Brand, to make a Chinese-language presentation entitled “大數據狂潮下的品牌策略” (Brand Strategies Under the Big Data Frenzy) at the AmCham Taipei’s Lincoln Room. He provided an overview of brand management fundamentals to give attendees a full understanding of how to build a compelling brand and how branding has changed in recent years.

Koh described four types of brands 1) Asset-Driven, 2) Service-Driven, 3) Technology-Driven, and 4) Network-Driven to showcase examples of different business models. A network-driven brand involves brand building through different platforms and ecosystems. In a disruptive era, consumers are exposed to more than 3,500 brands on a daily basis, compared to 2,000 brands just a decade ago. He noted that customers may experience a certain brand through multiple channels and touchpoints, sometimes even in a non-physical world, where machines and algorithms are responsible for deciding the role of the brand.

Koh stressed that in order to transform a brand and build relevance, an organization must understand its market, leverage new tools, generate insights, and measure its success.

From left to right: AmCham Taipei President William Foreman and speaker Simon Koh, founder of Big Data Play Brand.

The Lincoln Room is made possible by the generosity of a number of sponsoring companies:

Interested in attending our events? Join us at other upcoming events, click here.

Note: AmCham events are intended primarily for AmCham members and their guests. Many events are open to members’ guests and other non-members, but the attendance of any non-member must be approved in advance. AmCham reserves the right not to admit a non-member to any event without explanation. 

Navigating Trade in the Time of Trump

The United States under the Trump administration has dramatically stepped up its use of economic sanctions against nations, firms, and even individuals that it accuses of a wide range of violations of international law. Given Taiwan’s dependency on trade and its close ties with U.S. suppliers and customers, Taiwanese firms are on the frontlines of sanctions risks, and at least nine Taiwanese entities have found themselves on the U.S. “blacklist” of sanctions violators.

Adam Smith, a former U.S. senior sanctions official during the Obama administration, recently visited Taiwan to offer his views on how Taiwan’s businesses can navigate these treacherous waters. At a presentation on “Understanding and Navigating the Risk of Economic Sanctions in the Trump Era,” held at AmCham Taipei’s Lincoln Room on May 17, Smith offered his perspective on why trade sanctions are being deployed so frequently. He noted that sanctions can be wielded under the sole authority of the president, are highly flexible and effective, and “they cost the government nothing,” in contrast to other measures such as military interventions that put people and materiel at risk.

The impact of sanctions by the U.S. can be huge, forcing rogue nations such as Iran and North Korea to the negotiating table and impacting some of the world’s largest companies, such as China tech-behemoth ZTE Co., which found itself on the U.S. “blacklist” by dint of its continued trading with sanctioned nations. Sanctions cut off ZTE from its supply chain of U.S. components and within days of being singled out by Trump, ZTE declared that it could no longer operate.

Only U.S. persons or entities are directly required to act in accordance with U.S. issued sanctions. However, any transaction involving U.S. financial institutions must also comply with such sanctions, and as 87% of global trade occurs in US dollars, this means that the vast majority of global businesses are required to comply. Refusing to comply, or inadvertently violating sanctions, could result in being placed on the blacklist and banned from participating in most global trade. Further, products that contain a minimum of 10% components produced in the United States are also considered to be U.S. goods and their makers are likewise expected to comply.

To avoid falling afoul of U.S. sanctions regime, Smith advises companies to develop “a compliance system, policies, and processes internally, but also figuring out what your exposure looks like.” Smith says that companies need to ask take thorough inventory of their own and their trade partners’ activities. “The more you know… the more you can explain it, if need be,” says Smith.

 Listen to audio clips to learn more: 

From left to right: Adam Smith, former senior sanctions official in the U.S. Government and Partner of Gibson Dunn; AmCham Taipei President William Foreman

 

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Note: AmCham events are intended primarily for AmCham members and their guests. Many events are open to members’ guests and other non-members, but the attendance of any non-member must be approved in advance. AmCham reserves the right not to admit a non-member to any event without explanation.

Cross Cultural Leadership and Blind Spots

The presentation at an AmCham Special Luncheon on April 18 at Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel focused on the role of effective leadership in enhancing employee engagement. The speaker, Gerard Hei, is CEO of Dale Carnegie Taiwan.

The presentation, “Uncovering Leadership Blind Spots and Discovering the Pathway to Motivating Your Employees,” first established why engagement is so important. It significantly impacts absenteeism, turnover, productivity, profitability, sales, and quality. There are three kinds of employees: fully engaged, partially engaged, and disengaged. According to a global study, in Taiwan only 8% of employees are rated as fully engaged, compared to 29% globally, while 44% are disengaged, much more than the 24% globally.

The way to increase employee motivation and business results is to provide employees with more effective leaders, said Hei. When employees are very satisfied with their immediate supervisor and with senior leaders, many more are fully engaged and very few are disengaged.

Leaders need to do four key things to inspire and motivate their employees:

  • Express sincere praise and appreciation
  • Demonstrate honesty and integrity
  • Freely admit when they are wrong
  • Listen to and value employees’ opinions

From left to right: AmCham’s Public Health Committee Co-Chair Joyce Lee, General Manager, Bristol-Myers Squibb (Taiwan) Ltd.; AmCham Taipei President William Foreman; Speaker Gerard Hei, CEO of Dale Carnegie Taiwan; AmCham’s HR Committee Co-Chair Monica Han, Country HR Leader, 3M Taiwan Ltd.

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Note: AmCham events are intended primarily for AmCham members and their guests. Many events are open to members’ guests and other non-members, but the attendance of any non-member must be approved in advance. AmCham reserves the right not to admit a non-member to any event without explanation.