Panel Discussion on Food Safety

Taiwan’s food-related scandals in recent years have aroused public attention regarding the safety and reliability of the food supply. In an effort to provide a communication platform to enhance understanding of food safety laws and regulations, AmCham Taipei’s Retail Committee conducted a Chinese-language Food Safety Forum at The Sherwood Taipei on October 17. The event was sponsored by Pfizer Ltd.

The following guest speakers were invited to share office practices and discuss strategies for increasing the international competitiveness of Taiwan’s food industry:

  • Fu Hsu, Director of the Food Safety Office of the Executive Yuan
  • Mark Petry, Chief of the Agricultural Section of the American Institute in Taiwan
  • Jenny Yueh-Ing Chang, Executive Director of the International Life Sciences Institute

From left to right: Mark Petry, Chief of the Agricultural Section of the American Institute in Taiwan, Jenny Yueh-Ing Chang, Executive Director of the International Life Sciences Institute, Fu Hsu, Director of the Food Safety Office of the Executive Yuan, and Moderator Lucy Sun Hwang, Distinguished Professor in the Food Science and Technology Department at National Taiwan University.

The speakers addressed topics covering 1) policy development and coordination for food safety systems, 2) risk assessment and management, 3) preventative controls, and 4) crisis management. Through case sharing and discussions, the seminar aimed to provide participants with a more comprehensive understanding of domestic and international food-safety practices.

Following the session, Moderator Lucy Sun Hwang, Distinguished Professor in the Food Science and Technology Department at National Taiwan University, gave attendees a chance to raise questions to the panel.

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Annual CSR Forum Focuses on the Circular Economy

The AmCham Taipei CSR Committee held a forum entitled, “The New Concept of a Circular Economy – Creating a Future of Zero Waste” on September 28 at the Grand Hyatt Taipei. The speakers were Vivian Tai, Dell’s regional senior manager for Environmental Affairs & Producer Responsibility; Gaven Chang, assistant general manager at PwC Taiwan in charge of sustainable development service; and Chen Kuang-hsi, senior manager for research at the Taiwan Cement Corp. The event was conducted in Chinese language.

Tai explained how Dell in recent years has spared no effort to promote a “closed loop” program to channel waste materials back into the production cycle to contribute to solving the serious problem posed by waste electrical and electronic products (WEEE). Dell last year was able to use over 50 million pounds of recovered materials in its production of personal computers, four years ahead of schedule, and has raised the target to 100 million pounds by 2020.

The company also aims to lift the share of recovered plastics from the current 11.7% of the total to 35%, and to utilize only recyclable materials in its packaging. An example is its use of bamboo and wheat stalks as packaging materials on the Chinese market.

Without sacrificing quality and durability, said Tai, Dell has expanded application of the “closed loop” program to 91 product lines. It uses recovered materials not only from its own waste products but also from external sources, such as recovered plastics provided by a treatment plant of the Wistron Corp. in China, as well as plastics collected by the NGO Goodwill Industries from 2,000 recycling stations throughout the United States.

Tai noted that the program starts from product design. Incorporating a modular product structure facilitates the removal and replacement of defective parts.

Looking ahead, Dell plans to expand both the volume of recovered materials and the scope, extending the process to include such materials as precious metals, which are used heavily in electronic products, and carbon fiber.

“Promoting the circular economy by increasing the use of recovered materials is an inevitable trend,” said Tai. “IT firms bear the largest responsibility, since they are the largest source of industrial waste materials. The volume of waste electric and electronic products is expected to exceed 50 million tons this year.”

 

Concurring regarding the inevitability of the circular economy, Gaven Chang of PwC Taiwan noted that “at the current rate of exploitation of natural resources,” by 2030 “we will need two earths.” A conspicuous example of wastefulness is the mobile phone. Consumers typically buy a new one every two years, the main reason for the staggering number of 30-50 million waste mobile phones worldwide per year.

Due largely to the huge and growing demand from China, international prices of raw materials have been rising at an annual clip of 30% since 2000, compared with 15-20% previously, said Chang. He cited the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s definition of the circular economy: “Looking beyond the current ‘take, make, and dispose’ extractive industrial model, the circular economy is restorative and regenerative by design. Relying on system-wide innovation, it aims to redefine products and services to design waste out, while minimizing negative impacts. The circular economy is a continuous, positive development cycle.”

Chang said the circular economy will bring a number of new business models, including the renovation and reuse of waste products, recycling of waste materials, leasing instead of purchasing, and the sharing of products and services. Suppliers will stress the durability of products, making them suitable for lease over a long period of time, and consumers will stress the enjoyment, rather than the ownership, of products and services.

The trend will have a profound influence on industrial design, which will emphasize modular structure and the employment of single materials for easy dismantling/ repair/replacement and recycling.

The circular economy has also been gaining acceptance in recent years in heavy industries such as cement and steelmaking that have been under the close scrutiny of environmentalists. Under the concept of “environmental protection is a responsibility, not a cost, Taiwan Cement, for instance, has been promoting the recycling and reuse of waste since 1990,” said Chen Kuang-hsi.

A key item is full utilization of after-heat at cement kilns for power generation and incineration of household and industrial wastes. “Power generated by after-heat now supplies one-third of the power consumption at our kilns,” he said. “Moreover, the after-heat, at 1,000-1,400 degrees Celsius, can incinerate waste entirely, without producing bottom ashes, a serious problem in the case of incinerators. Bottom ashes, which contain dioxin, have to be solidified first to stabilize their properties before being buried at landfill sites. Many of those sites have been almost filled to the brim, as one ton of bottom ashes can be enlarged to 50 tons in weight after solidification.”

Chen noted that many hi-tech firms, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC), have entrusted Taiwan Cement to incinerate their industrial wastes.

In cooperation with the Industry Technology Research Institute (ITRI), the company has also installed a system capturing CO2 emitted from its chimneys, with limestone as the CO2 absorption agent. The limestone with CO2 is then used in nurturing microalgae.

From left to right: CSR Committee Co-chair Fupei Wang, Managing Director at Ogilvy PR; Jessie Chuang, Communications Manager, Corporate Affairs & Communications at JTI; Gaven Chang, Assistant General Manager at PwC Taiwan; Andrea Wu, AmCham Taipei President; Vivian Tai, Regional Senior Manager for Environmental Affairs & Producer Responsibility at Dell; and Chen Kuang-hsi, Senior Manager for research at the Taiwan Cement Corp.

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Taiwan’s Leadership in the Global Environment

Minister Lee Ying-yuan of the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) on September 27 addressed an AmCham Taipei luncheon meeting on the subject of “Taiwan’s Leadership in the Global Environment.” The event at the Grand Hyatt Taipei was jointly sponsored by the Chamber’s Sustainable Development and Chemical Manufacturers committees.

Lee highlighted the Taiwan EPA’s achievements in the following areas:

  • Removal of debris from the sea floor in nearby waters and imposing marine pollution controls. For example, Taiwan was recently the first country in Asia to ban the use of microbeads in cosmetics and personal care products to prevent their entering the food chain through fish.
  • A series of programs to improve air quality by reducing pollution from both stationary and mobile sources as well as decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Engagement in over 200 environment-related projects with the United States since the signing of a bilateral agreement in 1993.
  • Participation in the International Environmental Partnership to promote e-waste management.
  • Coordination with the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on mercury monitoring.
  • Cooperation with Australia on ship oil leakage.

From left to right: AmCham’s Sustainable Development Committee Co-Chair, Kenny Jeng, A/P Product Stewardship Manager, DuPont Taiwan Ltd.; Lee Ying-yuan, Minister of the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) of TaiwanAndrea Wu, AmCham Taipei President; AmCham’s Sustainable Development Committee Co-Chair, Cosmas Lu, Strategy Adviser, Super Dragon Technology Co., LTD.; AmCham’s Chemical Manufacturers Committee Co-Chair, Michael Wong, President, Kraton Formosa Polymers Corporation; 

The Minister praised innovative companies in Taiwan’s private sector who are working toward the goal of a zero-waste society by finding new uses for recycled materials.  For example, one of them has developed a process for converting plastic bags into bio oil, he said.

Lee holds a master’s degree in health policy from Harvard University and a doctorate in health economics from the University of North Caroline. His previous positions include member of the Legislative Yuan, Minister of the Council of Labor Affairs, and Secretary-general of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), and Secretary-general of the Executive Yuan.

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How to Be a Creative Leader and Empower Your Staff to Innovate

Truly great leaders create truly innovative organizations. A prerequisite to becoming a great leader is self-knowledge and a practical understanding of the science of innovation.

AmCham Taipei’s Human Resources Committee invited Stewart Desson, Founder and CEO of Lumina Learning, to hold a half-day seminar on “How to Be a Creative Leader and Empower Your Staff to Innovate.” The interactive workshop was held at the Chamber’s Lincoln Room on September 26.

Through group and brainstorming exercises, attendees learned about their own personalities and how to use that knowledge to their advantage in the innovation process. Desson also presented a four-stage creativity model and gave attendees a chance to explore ways on quickly understanding personalities. Learning about personalities will enable leaders to be able to maximize the innovative potential of others to generate ideas and improve productivity and personal effectiveness.

Stewart Desson, Founder and CEO of Lumina Learning with Lumina Learning staff and AmCham Taipei staff

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Tourism 2020: A Sustainable Tourism Development Strategy

Taiwan boasts a number of scenic destinations and tourism resources. Despite the decline in Chinese tourists since 2016, Taiwan has been able to increase the number of visitors from other areas. The Taiwan Tourism Bureau is working with local governments and the private sector to develop sustainable models for the travel industry by offering a visitor-friendly environment, smart travel facilities, and authentic experiences.

AmCham Taipei’s Travel & Tourism Committee invited Tourism Bureau Director-general Chou Yung-Hui to deliver a Chinese-language presentation on “Tourism 2020 – 台灣永續觀光發展願景” and share strategies on developing sustainable tourism. The presentation took place at a luncheon held at the Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel on September 8.

Chou provided an overview of the current status of Taiwan’s tourism market and noted key trends impacting the travel and tourism industry globally:

  • Growing Asian Market: the Asia-Pacific market is stronger than ever and will be the fastest growing region for tourism development.
  • Globalization Effect: tourists are showing an increasing preference for shorter-distance international trips.
  • Localization and cultural relevance: consumers’ desire for an authentic experience play an integral part in their travel planning.
  • Digital transformation: the rise of digital technology has changed consumer travel behavior and has created new business opportunities.

From left to right: Andrea Wu, AmCham Taipei president, AmCham Travel & Tourism Committee Co-chair Pauline Leung, CEO, Compass Public Relations Ltd.; Director-general Chou Yung-Hui, Taiwan Tourism Bureau, M.O.T.C.; and Director Cheng Ying-Huei, International Affairs, Taiwan Tourism Bureau, M.O.T.C.

In line with the global trends and the government’s New Southbound policy, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau will be implementing the following strategies to develop a sustainable tourism market for Taiwan:

  • Market diversification: the emphasis will be on Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia; deepening the penetration of the European and American markets, maintenance of the Chinese market, and further developing new market segments including MICE, cruise lines, Muslim tourism, and charter-flight travelers.
  • Promotion of domestic travel: deployment of a new Citizen’s Travel Card program designed to encourage domestic travel through high-quality travel packages.
  • Guidance for industrial transformation: adjustments to the tourism structure to improve service quality and maximize opportunities for businesses through brand exposure, quality-evaluation mechanisms, increased resources and support for travel agencies, and strengthened training for foreign-tour guides.
  • Smart tourism: integration and improvement of services for Foreign Independent Travelers (FIT), including travel information, ticketing systems, and public transport services.
  • Expansion of experiential tourism: working with local governments to create new tourist attractions and promote localized travel adventures, such as themed itineraries for scenic spots catering to international tourists.

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Asia Silicon Valley Project: Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Taiwan

In today’s knowledge-based economy, scientific and technological innovation has become a key driver of economic growth and national progress. For this reason, Taiwan’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) is trying hard to facilitate stronger links between academic research and industrial development.

AmCham Taipei’s Technology Committee held a luncheon at the W Hotel Taipei on August 18, inviting Minister of Science and Technology Chen Liang-Gee to introduce the Asia Silicon Valley Project and discuss how MOST is fostering an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit to encourage creativity in science and technology.

Chen explained that to connect Taiwan to global tech clusters and create new industries for the next generation, MOST will be implementing the following programs:

  • Establish a comprehensive Internet of Things (IoT) value chain by collaborating with key players in the ecosystem – including chip and device makers, and software and network service providers – to integrate hardware advantages into smart applications.
  • Foster Taiwan’s startup and entrepreneurship ecosystem by working with universities and helping top local talent establish professional networks with Silicon Valley to boost Taiwan’s academic and industrial competitiveness at the international level.
  • Develop an innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem by linking select Taiwan startups with Silicon Valley to offer training and resources, as well encourage mutual long-term partnership.

From left to right: AmCham’s Technology Committee Co-Chair, Revital Shpangental Golan, CEO, Anemone Ventures; Chen Liang-Gee, Minister of Science and Technology of Taiwan; Andrea Wu, AmCham Taipei President; and AmCham’s Technology Committee Co-Chair, Connie Wang, Director, Corning Advanced Technology Center, Corning Display Technologies Taiwan.

In the near future, the Ministry will set up an artificial intelligence and robotics production base as part of wider government efforts to foster the AI industry and bolster Taiwan’s competitiveness in smart manufacturing. The Ministry will also aim to develop IoT technologies while building a complete innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem under the Asia Silicon Valley Development Plan. The plan will also focus on IoT security, augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence applications, self-driving vehicles, and mobile lifestyles. These efforts will be combined with the New Southbound Policy to take advantage of new economic trends and opportunities.

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Workshop on 醫療器材優良流通規範(GDP)說明會

AmCham Taipei Medical Devices Committee held a luncheon on August 9 at The Sherwood Taipei to discuss and strengthen understanding of Good Distribution Practice (GDP) for Medical Devices.

Workshop title: 醫療器材優良流通規範(GDP)說明會

*This event was conducted in Mandarin. 本次活動將以中文進行。

衛生福利部食品藥物管理署(食藥署)已於104年6月18日公告我國醫療器材優良流通規範(Good Distribution Practice, GDP),來健全醫療器材販賣業者之管理,並維護醫療器材產品上市後流通安全,以確保醫療器材儲存、運輸、配送與販售過程中,產品品質符合原製造業者之規定要求。

為加強商會會員對於GDP之了解,並希望內容方向更切合在台外商公司,台北市美國商會邀請到金屬工業研究發展中心驗證組 蕭工程師蒞臨說明會擔任主講人,內容將介紹我國醫材GDP目前推動情形、GDP規範條文等相關說明,並邀請食藥署風管組 王副組長淑芬及 陳簡任技正瑜絢與會參與討論及接受提問,歡迎會員踴躍參加。

When: August 9, 2017 (9 AM – 12 PM)

Where: The Sherwood Taipei

Speaker: 蕭碧瑩 – 財團法人金屬工業研究發展中心 驗證組 工程師

From left to right: 陳簡任技正瑜絢-衛生福利部食品藥物管理署風管組、王副組長淑芬-衛生福利部食品藥物管理署風管組蕭碧瑩工程師 – 財團法人金屬工業研究發展中心驗證組, Cerline Tsai, AmCham Medical Devices Committee Task Force Leader, Manager, RA/QA & Reimbursement, Abbott Vascular

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Panel Discussion on Enforcement of Labor Inspection

AmCham Taipei’s Human Resources Committee conducted a Chinese-language panel discussion on “The Enforcement of Labor Inspection” at The Howard Plaza Hotel Taipei on August 3. Aimed at enhancing understanding of amendments to the Labor Standards Act and the enforcement of labor inspections, the program featured inspection office chiefs from the Taipei City, New Taipei City, and Taoyuan City government who addressed their offices’ practices in four key areas: 1) the responsibility of labor inspectors, 2) the inspection process, 3) overtime reporting policy, and 4) attendance recordkeeping.

Moderators:

  • Seraphim Ma, AmCham Governor & HR Committee Co-Chair; Senior Partner, Baker & McKenzie
  • Vickie Chen, AmCham HR Committee Co-Chair; Head of Human Resources, Standard Chartered Bank (Taiwan) Ltd.

Guest Panelists:

  • Chiang Ming-chih, Director, Labor Inspection Office, Taipei City / 臺北市勞動檢查處 江處長明志
  • Hu Hua-tai, Director, Labor Standards Inspection Office, New Taipei City / 新北市政府勞動檢查處 胡處長華泰
  • Chou Hsien-Ping, Director, Office of Labor Inspection, Taoyuan City /桃園市政府勞動檢查處 周處長賢平

From left to right: Moderator Vickie Chen, AmCham’s HR Committee Co-Chair, Head of Human Resources, Standard Chartered Bank (Taiwan) Ltd.; Director Chou, Office of Labor Inspection, Taoyuan City; Director Hu, New Taipei City Labor Standards Inspection Office; Director Chiang, Taipei City Labor Inspection Office; Moderator Seraphim Ma, AmCham Governor & HR Committee Co-Chair, Senior Partner, Baker & McKenzie.

AmCham Taipei’s Human Resources Committee has raised a number of issues to the Ministry of Labor (the labor authority) that have emerged as a result of amendments to the Labor Standards Law (LSL) passed in December 2016. The Committee presented five issues in the 2017 Taiwan White Paper as key areas of concern for its members, who hope to see greater flexibility and predictability in employment laws in Taiwan.

To read the full Human Resources position paper, click here.

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Commissioner Lin on the Taipei 2050 Vision Plan

Speaking at a luncheon organized by AmCham Taipei’s Real Estate and Infrastructure & Engineering Committees, Commissioner Lin Jou Min of the Taipei City Government’s Department of Urban Development introduced the Taipei 2050 Vision Plan in a Chinese-language presentation entitled “A City of Our Own: 像我們這樣的城.” The program was held July 20 at the Westin Taipei.

Lin, trained in Architecture and Urban Design at Columbia University in New York, has over 20 years of experience in architectural, interior, landscape, communication, and research-based design. Before being appointed Commissioner in 2014, Lin was the principal architect of J.M. Architect / The Observer Design Group in Taipei.

He described the Taipei 2050 Vision Plan as encompassing the following aspects:

  • Livable and Sustainable City – construct safe, convenient, ecological landscapes.
  • City Aesthetics – promote the aesthetic value of the city to provide better surroundings and experience.
  • Living Justice – improve the standard of living by providing affordable housing for residents.
  • Building Management – enhance employment and economic development through improvement of  environmental outcomes.
  • Urban Regeneration – promote integration of the community and strengthen public communication.

From left to right:  AmCham Real Estate Committee Chair Tony Chao, Taiwan Country Head, Jones Lang LaSalle Taiwan Ltd. and speaker Lin Jou Min, Commissioner, Department of Urban Development, Taipei City Government

Lin also briefed the audience about recent development and renewal projects. The West District Gateway Project involved dismantling the Zhongxiao Bridge ramp to free up space around the North Gate, renovating the area surrounding North Gate, and overhauling the plaza in front of Taipei Railway Station to create a more presentable image of the nation to visitors.

The East District Gateway Project transformed Nangang District into a transportation hub to create new business opportunities in such areas as software, technology, and biotech industry. The project also entails turning Nangang into a pedestrian-friendly environment with connecting pathways and completing such cultural venues as the Taipei Pop Music Center and Nangang Cap Factory.

Future projects include:

  1. Songshan Airport: Transforming the airport into a 330-hectare “Central Park” with an emphasis on ecology, leisure, and humanities.
  2. Eco Shezidao: Redeveloping the restricted flooding zone that has been left unused for 45 years and turning it into a multi-purpose, open space system for ecological and recreational use.
  3. Urban Regeneration: Seeking investments for regeneration projects including government-led urban renewal programs, the National Taiwan University Medical Complex, Lanchou Community, South Airport Apartment, and more.
  4. Public Housing: Provide facilities for social welfare and public services through implementation of public housing.

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Transforming Taiwan’s MICE Industry

Taiwan is seeking to expand its business in the travel segment known as MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions). At a July 19 luncheon meeting at The Sherwood Taipei sponsored by AmCham Taipei’s Travel & Tourism Committee, Walter Yeh, President & CEO of the semi-official Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), addressed the subject with a presentation entitled “Transforming Taiwan’s MICE Industry.”

Primarily through the approximately 40 international trade shows that TAITRA puts on each year, including such prominent events as Computex Taipei in the information technology field and the Taipei Cycle Show, Taiwan has already established a foothold in the MICE field. More than 80,000 international visitors come to Taiwan annually for these events.

But Taiwan has trailed behind some other cities in the region as a center for international conferences and incentive travel, due to a lack of sufficient facilities, promotion, and training.

Yeh said the Taiwan government is now placing new emphasis on the MICE industry, in part to make up for the decline in tour groups coming from China. The mission to help promote the business is even being given to Taiwan’s representative offices around the world, which in the past dealt purely with economic and political issues.

From left to right: AmCham Travel & Tourism Committee C0-chair Achim V. Hake, General Manager, The Sherwood Taipei; AmCham Travel & Tourism Committee C0-chair Pauline Leung, CEO of Compass Public Relations Ltd; Speaker Walter Yeh, President & CEO of Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA); Andrea Wu, AmCham Taipei president

Some of the key points touched on in Yeh’s presentation included:

  • Taiwan has an excellent opportunity to attract more incentive travelers from Muslim countries, especially from Southeast Asian locations such as Malaysia and Indonesia. To create a more welcoming environment for such visitors, the government is assisting restaurants to qualify for Halal certification and encouraging the setting aside of prayer rooms in more public places.
  • The opening of Hall 2 of the Taipei Nankang Exhibition Center in 2019 will substantially increase the amount of available exhibition space, permitting expansion of popular trade shows such as Computex.
  • One of the government’s goals is to bring more events to cities other than Taipei, especially Taichung and Kaohsiung. The Kaohsiung Exhibition Center was completed in 2014, and a Greater Taichung International Expo Center is scheduled to be ready for opening in 2021.
  • A “Meet Taiwan” promotional program funded by the government and operated by TAITRA is dedicated to making Taiwan better known internationally as a good place for MICE activities. Among Taiwan’s strong points, Yeh cited its scenic and cultural attractions, the friendliness of the people, the convenience and safety, and the diversity of the society.

The 2017 Universiade Summer Games to be held in Taipei August 19-30 will be one of the largest events ever staged in Taiwan. Another major event in the planning is the Rotary International Convention in 2021, with an estimated 36,000 participants.