Paul Cassingham on Taiwan’s Path to TPP

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a multinational trade agreement between 12 Pacific Rim nations that has significant implications for Taiwan’s economic future.

One of AmCham Taipei’s top priorities this year is encouraging the Taiwan Government to coordinate its efforts towards meeting the standards required for TPP accession – an initiative emphasized in the 2016 AmCham White Paper.

Paul Cassingham, Senior Legal Consultant at Eiger as well as AmCham’s former Chairman and current Government Relations Committee Chair, has studied the TPP’s text with the aim of gaining a clearer understanding of exactly what impact the trade deal might have on Taiwan, if it comes into effect.

On August 16, he presented his findings to an audience at the AmCham Lincoln Room, at a Chamber event titled “TPP: Opportunities and Challenges for Taiwan”.

A brief summary of key points is available below.

Cassingham also authored an article on TPP for TOPICS Magazine, the Chamber’s monthly publication, which goes into greater detail on the issues Taiwan faces. Read it here:
“Taiwan’s Restrictions on PRC Investment – A Sleeping TPP Issue?”

This year’s AmCham Taipei Doorknock delegation also stressed the importance – for both Taiwan and the U.S. – of Taiwan entering the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) when it expands beyond the original 12 members. Read a full report here:
2016 “Washington Doorknock” Focuses on TPP

 

Highlighted points from Mr. Cassingham’s presentation:

Taiwan & TPP Background

  • TPP Signatories include: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam.
  • Taiwan would be the 6th largest and 4th wealthiest economy in the TPP if it joined
  • Main trade benefit of TPP would be the reduction or elimination of most import duties among TPP economies

Why Join? 

  • If Taiwan doesn’t join TPP, it would be unable to compete with TPP exporters that benefit from reduced import duties
  • The negative impact is multiplied for Taiwan’s intermediate goods exports (70% of total)

Some Areas of focus for Taiwan

  • Improving procedures for technical regulations and reduction of technical barriers to trade. For example:
    • TPP members must publish proposed regulations 60 days in advance for public comment
    • TPP members must respond to significant issues raised regarding proposed regulation
  • Foreign investors must be allowed to remit investment cash freely into and out of Taiwan.
  • Cross-strait relations may play a role in whether or not Taiwan can gain entry into the TPP

AmCham Taipei offers its sincere thanks to Paul Cassingham for his time and effort spent studying the TPP text, and for presenting his findings to Chamber guests and community members.

Job Post: Programs / Activities Assistant @ The Center

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Programs / Activities Assistant

The Community Services Center is seeking a Programs/Activities Assistant to join our dynamic office team. The person who takes on this position will be responsible for supporting the Programs/Activities Coordinator and the Office Manager in the delivery of the Center’s educational and cultural activities, as well as helping other Center staff as needed. It is a detail and task oriented position involving significant database work.

Some knowledge of and skill in Microsoft Word and Excel as well as other software is also expected. The ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously and efficiently, often amidst a busy office environment, is necessary.

Duties include:

  • handling course registrations and payments
  • working with instructors and tour guides as needed
  • providing front office support, including opening and/or closing the office, answering phones, greeting visitors, and assisting newcomers
  • and supporting monthly topic coffee mornings

The ideal candidate for this position is a self-starter with the ability to handle lots of interaction with the public as well as strong attention to details. Ability to communicate in Chinese is an asset but not required.

Interested applicants, please send a cover letter and resume to Grace Ting at csc@communitycenter.org.tw.

 

Six Months of Success for the AmCham Lincoln Room

Lincoln Room Happy Hour

In January of this year, AmCham Taipei officially announced the opening of the Lincoln Room, a venue built to serve as a multi-purpose function room for AmCham luncheons, meetings, social gatherings, and government visits, and more.

In the six months since its opening, the Lincoln Room has hosted numerous successful events, proving to be a valuable enhancement for AmCham’s event platform and yet another addition to the wide range of services and offerings it provides to Taiwan’s foreign business community.

New Opportunities

One of the most exciting new features of the Lincoln Room is the AmCham Marketplace, which provides a unique opportunity to host an event in a state-of-the-art business venue, with access to the most influential business community in Taipei.

Marketplace participants are able to leverage the Chamber’s robust marketing channels to promote their event and their message for maximum engagement. Learn more about the Marketplace here.

The Lincoln Room is also available as a rental venue.

Below are some highlights from Lincoln Room events that have taken place since its opening. The possibilities are endless!

Business Climate Survey Press Conference

Business Climate Survey Press Conference

The AmCham Lincoln Room served as the venue for the official release of AmCham’s annual Business Climate Survey in January.

Seminars & Workshops

bimonthly William Zyzo seminars

Bimonthly training seminars, conducted by AmCham Advance Learning Lab advisor William Zyzo. Recent topics include slide design, better job performance in the digital age, and design thinking.

Movie Screening

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Documentary screening: THE GIRL WHO STOOD UP – Sharing by female leaders and pre-screenings of the new National Geographic documentary “He Named Me Malala” provided an excellent experience and discussion.

Happy Hours

Happy Hours – Quarterly Member Happy Hours

The Lincoln Room, equipped with a small kitchen area, is the new home for AmCham’s Quarterly Happy Hour celebrations as well as committee-specific social events.

Committee Discussions

Committee Discussions – HR committee afternoon discussion

AmCham Committees find the Lincoln Room an ideal venue for meetings and internal workshops.

Govt. meetings

Govt. meetings

A delegation of staffers to U.S. congressmen and senators visited AmCham in June, and were received in the Lincoln Room

Marketplace

Marketplace

The first official AmCham Marketplace Session, an informational session on Mortgage Market Design, took place in May.

AmCham’s 2016 Golf Championship

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Pitch the Candidate

A total of 58 golfers, organized into 15 teams, took part in AmCham Taipei’s 2016 Golf Championship, held May 27 at the Kuo Hua Golf & Country Club in Tamsui.

With a full shot-gun start, all players teed-off promptly at 6:30 a.m., following the Texas Scramble format. The day saw clear skies with hot temperatures, but players stayed refreshed with non-alcoholic drinks generously sponsored by Swire Coca-Cola, tequila cocktails by Patron Spirits, and craft beer by Steve’s Brew.

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For the first time at the AmCham Taipei Golf Championship – held annually by the Chamber since 2011 – a side activity called “Pitch the Candidate” was introduced at this year’s event. In addition to the regular 18-hole tournament, golfers could take aim at signs bearing the photo of either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Each successful hit was awarded with a sleeve of top-quality golf balls.

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Thanks to hole-sponsors Allianz, Corning, and Intel, golfers had the chance to win Nearest to the Pin contests at every Par-3 hole, as well as Longest Drive on two Par-5 holes.

All participants also took home “goody bags” filled with golf balls courtesy of Sanfu Global’s Simon Chang to celebrate his “Hole-in-One” achieved on March 4 this year, as well as other take-aways provided by Asian Tigers, Costco Taiwan, and Synergy Net.

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Tournament Results

Team handicaps for this year’s tournament were determined using the Peoria system, with the six special holes drawn randomly by players during the awards lunch. IGST Rockys (Joe Welsh, Ray Koot, Donato Scioscioli, and Henry Wang) won the championship, followed by AmCham 3 (Sam Lo, Susan Huang, Jesse Chen, and Charles Liang) as runner-up, and Air Products San Fu 3 (Paul Yang, Patrick Chen, Ally Kim, and Jeff Chung) in third place. Other golfers also had opportunities to win prizes in the lucky draws that followed, with products sponsored by Audi, Ballantine’s, Costco, Delta Airlines, Grand Hyatt Taipei, He Feng Chinese Cuisine, Howard Plaza Taipei, IGST, Patron Spirits, Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel Taipei, Silks Place Taroko, The Place Tainan, and The Sherwood Taipei.

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Before ending lunch, AmCham President Andrea Wu extended special thanks to the 2016 AmCham Golf Committee – Simon Chang, Doug Klein, Joe Welsh, and Lee Wood – for their expert advice on all things golf-related.

AmCham Tours Dihua Street

The AmCham Travel & Tourism Committee hosted a special event on May 13, where Commissioner Yu-yen Chien of the Department of Information & Tourism of Taipei City 台北市政府觀光傳播局 簡余晏局長 delivered a presentation and hosted a Q&A session before guests were taken on a guided walking tour of the historic Dihua street area.

 

View the full photo gallery here.

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Dihua Street is located in Datong District of Taipei City, with a total length of 800 meters. The street was built in the 1850s as a major trading center for Chinese herbs and medicines, dried goods, fabrics, and teas since it is near the Dadaocheng port. Since 1996, it has become a market place for Chinese New Year grocery shopping. Dihua Street is also a popular tourist attraction with historical architectures in traditional Fujian, Baroque and western styles.

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This event was a special opportunity for AmCham members to engage with Taipei government agencies and take part in a unique format of interactive event. To learn more about AmCham events, and to see the upcoming event schedule, click here. 

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The International Golf Society of Taipei

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The International Golf Society of Taipei (IGST) is a social group that arranges golfing and social events for all those interested in golf and making new friends.

Taiwan has many beautiful courses but arrangements can be challenging, especially if you don’t speak Chinese. IGST has 100 members of all nationalities, ages and genders. A transparent handicap system ensures golfers of all skills enjoy playing together. Learn more about the IGST here.

Non-golfing partners are welcome at social events. The regular season runs from March to November with games on two Saturdays each month.

Other opportunities include a winter playing schedule, annual overseas trip, the Taiwan Cup against Taichung and Kaohsiung golf societies, ad hoc games with other members and invitations to other golf events. See the full schedule of upcoming IGST events here. 

View the photo gallery at www.taiwan-golf.com  or EMail:   igst@golf-taiwan.com

IGST is also a sponsor of the upcoming 2016 AmCham Golf Scramble tournament on May 27. Click here for more details and registration

48th Annual Hsieh Nien Fan Continues Tradition

AmCham Taipei Hsieh Nien Fan

Continuing a long tradition, the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei held its 48th annual Hsieh Nien Fan banquet on March 30 in the Grand Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt Taipei.

The purpose of the event is to express thanks to Taiwan government officials, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), and other friends of the Chamber for their cooperation and support in the previous year. Nearly 700 AmCham members and guests attended.

President Ma Ying-jeou was once again the keynote speaker, and AmCham Taipei presented him with a plaque in gratitude for his participation at 15 Hsieh Nien Fan banquets during his tenure both as President and before that as Mayor of Taipei. Another special guest was Kurt Tong, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, who was introduced by American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Kin Moy. The master of ceremonies was attorney Peter Dernbach, a co-chair of AmCham Taipei’s Intellectual Property & Licensing Committee.

Opening the evening were remarks by AmCham Taipei Vice Chairman Margaret Driscoll, standing in for Chairman Dan Silver, who was overseas and unable to attend the event. Driscoll expressed thanks on behalf of the Chamber to both the Taiwan government and AIT for helping to promote a positive business environment in Taiwan.

President Ma Ying-jeou speaks at AmCham Taipei's 48th Annual Hsieh Nien Fan

President Ma’ speech outlined his administration’s accomplishments, including the successful promotion of a “free, just, and prosperous Taiwan, a peaceful Taiwan Strait, and a friendly international environment.” He stressed the urgency of Taiwan’s participation in emerging regional trade groups such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), as well as the importance of maintaining a stable and reliable energy supply.

AIT Director Moy praised AmCham Taipei’s “constructive role” in the U.S.-Taiwan economic relationship and credited President Ma with achieving “something that few thought could be done: simultaneously improving relations with both Washington and Beijing.”

In his remarks, Kurt Tong expressed appreciation for AmCham Taipei’s “constructive, regular outreach to the Taiwan authorities” and for the “efforts of the AmCham Taipei leadership and membership in underscoring how valuable TPP can be to your companies and to the U.S. economic presence in Asia.”

AmCham Taipei Hsieh Nien Fan 2016

High-level dignitaries in attendance this year included:

  • National Security Council Deputy Secretaries-General Andrew Kao and Liu Da-nien
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin
  • Minister of Economic Affairs John Deng
  • Environmental Protection Minister Wei Kuo-yen
  • Minister without Portfolio Chung Char-dir
  • National Development Council Minister Steve Chu-chia Lin

The evening was made possible by the following sponsors:

  • Platinum Sponsor: Citibank
  • Gold Sponsors: Corning Display; Franklin Templeton Investments; Standard Chartered Bank
  • Silver Sponsors: 3M, HSBC, JTI, and Micron
  • Bronze Sponsors: Air Products, American Express, Baker & McKenzie, Dun & Bradstreet, K&L Gates, Philip Morris, Qualcomm, and Siemens
  • General Sponsors: Audi, Ford Lio Ho, Grand Hyatt Taipei, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Tobacco Institute of the Republic of China, and UBS.
  • Wine & Liquor: Fratello F&B Int. Ltd., Diageo Taiwan

The Executive Centre Exclusive Program

AmCham Taipei Members,

Don’t miss the exclusive benefits offered by one of our exclusive member program partners, The Executive Centre (TEC). TEC is Asia’s leading premium serviced office provider, with over 70 centres in 21 major cities in the Asia-Pacific region. It has been voted “Asia’s Best Serviced Office Provider” and provides high quality on-demand serviced offices, virtual offices, meeting facilities, video conferencing and more.

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All AmCham Taipei Exclusive Program benefits are exclusive to AmCham Taipei members. You won’t find these deals anywhere else!

Through the AmCham Taipei exclusive program, our members can are eligible to receive any of the following deals from TEC: 

  • 1 Complimentary meeting room usage in Taipei 101 or the Far Eastern Plaza, valued at NTD5000
  • 2 hours monthly complimentary meeting room usage with free flow coffee, tea, and one wifi connection
  • Virtual office plan (valued NTD8000/mo.)
  • Sign a 12-month serviced office agreement and receive 2 months rent-free

More information is available here.
Claim your rewards while the offer lasts!

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Regus BusinessWorld Exclusive Program

AmCham Taipei Members,

Don’t miss the exclusive benefits offered by one of our exclusive member program partners, Regus BusinessWorld. Regus is the world’s largest provider of workplace solutions, from fully equipped and staffed office to meeting rooms, conference and training facilities.

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All AmCham Taipei Exclusive Program benefits are exclusive to AmCham Taipei members. You won’t find these deals anywhere else!

Through the AmCham Taipei exclusive program, our members can are eligible to receive any of the following deals from Regus: 

  • When applying for 6months of BusinessWorld Gold, receive 3 hours of free meeting room usage for the first 3 months, plus 6 day passes that can be used for up to 2 visitors.
  • When applying for 12 months of BusinessWorld Gold, receive 1 month free, 6 hours free meeting room usage for the first 3 months, and 12 one-day passes.
  • Platinum card holders and above are entitled to double the regular meeting room usage hours and a one-day pass.
  • Sign up for a 1-year virtual office contract in 3000 global locations to receive 2 months free.

More information is available here.
Claim your rewards while the offer lasts!

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