AmCham Meets with Washington Visitors

Over breakfast at the Grand Hyatt Taipei on June 13, members of the AmCham Taipei leadership met with Assistant Secretary of State for Educational & Cultural Affairs Marie Royce and other U.S. dignitaries who were in Taiwan for the dedication ceremony of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) office complex.

Besides Assistant Secretary Royce, the visitors included Caroline Casagrande, Special Advisor to the State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs; Washington-based AIT Chairman James Moriarty; AIT Washington Managing Director John Norris; and State Department Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Office of Taiwan Coordination Director Jim Heller. From AIT in Taipei, Economic Chief Jeff Horwitz and Deputy Economic Chief Mike Pignatello also attended.

The group was welcomed by AmCham Taipei Chairman Albert Chang; AmCham President William Foreman; Former AmCham Chairman Thomas H. McGowan; AmCham Board members Joyce Lee, Tim Shields, and Daniel Tseng; AmCham Senior Director Don Shapiro; and AmCham Senior Director of Government and Public Affairs Amy Chang.

The breakfast discussion centered around the recent progress in AmCham’s White Paper issues, as well as opportunities for expanding educational and cultural exchanges between Taiwan and the United States.

Meeting with U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission

Members of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission visited AmCham Taipei on May 21 to learn more about how Taiwan was faring amidst the recent flurry of news surrounding U.S.-China relations. The delegation exchanged views with AmCham representatives in an hour-long meeting in AmCham’s Lincoln Room as part of the Commission’s annual visit to Taiwan, during which it also met with many high-profile government offices, NGOs, and think tanks.

Created by the U.S. Congress in 2000, the bipartisan Commission’s mandate is to monitor and investigate national security and trade issues between the United States and the PRC.

This year’s group was led by Vice Chairperson Carolyn Bartholomew and also included  Commission delegation also included  commissioners Roy Kamphausen, Jonathan Stivers, Larry Wortzel, and  Katherine Tobin, as well as Michelle Ker, policy analyst in economics and trade, and Jacob Stokes, policy analyst in security and foreign affairs.

Former AmCham Chairman Thomas McGowan, of the law firm Russin & Vecchi, led the conversation, and was joined by AmCham President William Foreman, Senior Director of Government Affairs Amy Chang, and Taiwan Business TOPICS Associate Editor Tim Ferry.

American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) representatives Jeff Horwitz, Phill Loosli, and Toy Reid joined the wide-ranging discussion, which touched on a number of topics including the consequences of China’s pressure on the Tsai administration and trade relations between Taiwan and the United States.

Commerce Department Officials Call at AmCham

Ian Paul Steff, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Manufacturing in U.S. Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration, exchanged views with AmCham Taipei representatives during an hour-long meeting in the Chamber’s Lincoln Room on March 22 as part of his six-day visit to Taiwan. Steff was joined by two colleagues: International Trade Specialist Kyle Johnson and Devin A. Horne, Civil Nuclear Trade Specialist.

The AmCham attendees included President William Foreman, Standing Vice Chairman Leo Seewald, Vice Chairman Vincent Shih, Governor Edward Shober, President Wayne Chin and Vice President Richard T.C. Chen of Pacific Engineers & Constructors, Senior Director Don Shapiro, and Senior Director for Government and Public Affairs Amy Chang. Ireas Cook, chief of the Commercial Section at the American Institute in Taiwan, and Mark Lewis, the deputy chief, also attended.

Steff said the U.S. government sees many economic opportunities in Taiwan because of the numerous mutual interests, including such sectors as biotech, energy, and the Internet of Things.

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

Field Trip to the Taoyuan Aerotropolis Office

As the largest national infrastructure project since the Ten Major Infrastructure Projects in the 70s, the Taoyuan Aerotropolis Project appears to be a critical piece in Taiwan’s future. The project was previously announced in 2012, but was tabled for years due to various obstacles including land acquisition. Now the project again appears ready for take-off.

From left to right: Hsieh Huai-hui, Vice President, Taoyuan Aerotropolis Co., Ltd.; AmCham President William Foreman; Huang Shih-cho, Chairman of Taoyuan Aerotropolis Co., Ltd.

On January 26, the Taoyuan Aerotropolis Co. invited representatives from AmCham Taipei to the Taoyuan Aerotropolis Vision Hall to get a first-hand look at the plans for this program. Members and guests were greeted by Huang Shih-cho, Chairman of the Taoyuan Aerotropolis Co. and Hsieh Huai-hui, the company’s Vice President, who provided a thorough briefing and addressed the visitors’ questions in a Q&A session. Huang emphasized four of Taoyuan’s key advantages as a potential regional hub:

  • Excellent quality of workforce
  • Complete supply chain
  • Central location: three hours to major Asian cities
  • Low earthquake frequency

 

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Brookings Delegation Visits AmCham Taipei

A delegation from the prominent Washington D.C.-based think tank The Brookings Institution called on AmCham Taipei on January 24 for an exchange of views on the status and prospects of U.S.-Taiwan economic relations. The Brookings group was led by Senior Fellow David Dollar, a former World Bank Director for China and Mongolia. It also included Ryan Hass, a former staff member of the National Security Council; Robert Wang, a former Deputy Director of the American Institute in Taiwan; Research Assistant Maeve Whelan-Wuest; and Kelsey Broderick of the Eurasia Group.

They met with AmCham Taipei President William Foreman, Former Chamber Chairmen Tom McGowan and Dan Silver; and AmCham Taipei Senior Directors Don Shapiro and Amy Chang.

AIT/W’s Norris Calls on AmCham

During his first visit to Taiwan since taking his current position in September 2016, John J. Norris Jr., Managing director of the American Institute in Taiwan’s Washington office (AIT/W), met with AmCham Taipei governors and senior staff on October 26 at the Chamber’s Lincoln Room for an exchange of views on U.S.-Taiwan economic relations. Norris had previously met with AmCham’s “Doorknock” delegation in Washington in June.

The topics raised by AmCham included:

  • The significance for both the Taiwanese and U.S. economies of the close collaboration between companies in the two countries in the field of semiconductors, and the importance of maintaining the security of advanced technology in that industry.
  • The benefit that Taiwanese investors could receive from pension reform that opens the market to wider choice for individual consumers.
  • The difficulties for both employers and employees caused by the recently implemented Labor Law revisions that impose rigid regulations regarding working hours, overtime pay, and other working conditions.

A career foreign service officer, Norris served in both AIT Taipei and AIT Kaohsiung early in his career. Among his other posts related to Taiwan, he was Director of the Office of Taiwan Coordination (1998-2000) and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs (with responsibility for China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Mongolia) from 2008 to 2009.

Meeting with Senator Steve Daines

Representatives from AmCham Taipei met with visiting U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MO) at the American Institute in Taiwan during his one-day trip to Taiwan on September 22. Daines is the only member of the Senate with experience working in Asia, and he expressed a keen interest in strengthening U.S.-Taiwan relations.

Representatives from AmCham Taipei met with U.S. Senator Steve Daines (R-MO)

A chemical engineering graduate of Montana State University, Daines spent 13 years with Procter & Gamble, including six years living in Hong Kong and China  spearheading P&G’s entry into the China market. His business experience also includes three years with his family’s construction company in Montana, and service with RightNow Technologies, a cloud-based software company, as Vice President of North America Sales and Vice President of the Asia-Pacific division.

Attending the meeting from AmCham were Standing Vice Chairman Dan Silver, President Andrea Wu, Former Chairmen Paul Cassingham and Thomas McGowan, Governor and Human Resources Committee Co-chair Seraphim Ma, and Senior Directors Don Shapiro and Amy Chang.

New NDC Minister Chen Mei-ling Visits AmCham

Just two weeks after taking office as Minister of the National Development Council (NDC), Chen Mei-ling paid a courtesy call at AmCham Taipei accompanied by colleagues including Deputy Minister Kao Shien-quey, Director-general Connie Chang of the Department of Overall Planning, Director of the Minister’s Office Ray Chou, and staff members from the Council’s Regulatory Reform Center.

The group was received at AmCham Taipei’s 6th floor Lincoln Room by Standing Vice Chairman Dan Silver, Vice Chairman Daniel Tseng, President Andrea Wu, Former Chairman Paul Cassingham, Governors Tim Ju and Vincent Shih, and Senior Directors Don Shapiro and Amy Chang.

The discussion covered a wide range of topics including energy policy, the labor law, government procurement, healthcare policy, the automotive industry, the promotion of data technology, and the importance of attracting foreign investment.

Minister Chen, who holds a master’s degree in law from National Taiwan University and a doctorate in law from National Cheng Chi University, served as Secretary-General of the Executive Yuan before taking her current position. She said that her legal background means she is likely to take a different approach from her predecessors heading the NDC, who were mainly economists. While affirming the importance of economic development, she said that her concept of “development” is broader, incorporating the various other factors that impact life in Taiwan.

The new minister expressed the wish to maintain frequent contact with AmCham Taipei as issues of mutual concern arise.

Leadership Meeting with House Foreign Affairs Committee Representatives

Over breakfast on Sept. 1 at Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel, members of the AmCham Taipei leadership met with a delegation from the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee led by Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and also including Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL), chairman of the Subcommittee on Asia, and Rep. Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon (R-PR).

The members of Congress reiterated their support for continued strengthening of U.S.-Taiwan ties in the areas of both national security and economic cooperation.

Following a briefing by Chamber Chairman Albert Chang on the current business climate in Taiwan, Lin Kiat Yap of Micron gave a report on challenges facing the Taiwan semiconductor industry (a key part of the supply chain for many leading U.S. tech companies) and Wayne Chin of Bechtel provided a presentation on behalf of the Energy Committee and Infrastructure & Engineering Committee.

September 1, 2017 – Leadership Meeting with House Foreign Affairs Committee Representatives at Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel