New Minister of Science and Technology Addresses Luncheon Meeting

Recently appointed Minister of Science and Technology Wu Tsung-tsong has high hopes for Taiwan’s technology industry. On July 15, Minister Wu spoke at an AmCham Taipei luncheon, titled “台灣2030 – 邁向智慧國家 Taiwan 2030 – Striding Toward a More Innovative Country” at the W Hotel, where he outlined his vision of the future for the island’s tech sector, developing Taiwan into a “sustainable human-centric smart nation.” He emphasized that improvements to the tech sector should also improve Taiwan as a whole.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption and affected planning for the future in countries around the world. Nevertheless, Minister Wu is focusing on what Taiwan will be able to accomplish with technology. His presentation at the luncheon covered four main areas:

  • Challenges and opportunities: An aging society, rapid digital transformation, and declining natural resources, among other trends will make a well-developed circular economy and inclusive society especially important in the coming years.
  • Preparing Taiwan for the Digital Age: Furthering the government’s goals for industrial upgrading and structural reform as part of its 5+2 Innovative Industries initiative.
  • Industrial innovation, digital transformation: From 5G to renewable energy, Taiwan is gradually becoming adept at balancing development with sustainability. The usage of drones for agricultural purposes and a growing reliance on AI technology has demonstrated Taiwan’s ability to build on its existing strengths.
  • Building toward a “smart sustainable nation”: The 5+2 initiative and Minister Wu’s new plan to target six core areas for future development both seek to position Taiwan on the world stage as a key economic power. By focusing on advanced network foundations, precision health initiatives, and satellite communications, Taiwan will be able to reach its goals by 2030.

Minister Wu emphasized the importance of industry integration, both domestically and internationally. Collaboration at each level is critical to technological development; otherwise, industries are destined to fail. Nevertheless, he expressed optimism that Taiwan’s tech sector would continue to make great strides in the future.

Minister of Science and Technology Wu Tsung-tsong, AmCham President William Foreman, and co-chairs from AmCham Digital Economy Committee and Technology Committee.

 

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Discussing the Future of the Digital Economy in Taiwan

On July 8, AmCham Taipei welcomed Central Bank of China Deputy Governor Chen Nan-kuang and National Taxation Bureau Director-General Hsu Tzu-mei to speak at a Tax Committee luncheon.

Deputy Governor Chen’s talk focused on his vision for the future direction of Taiwan’s central banking system. Central banks have grown in abilities and influence due to public trust in electronic payment systems, giving central banks an essential role in the digital era, Chen said.

Central Bank of China Deputy Governor Chen Nan-kuang

Chen also spoke about the growing importance of central bank digital currency (CBDC), which many countries have begun to rely on for its efficiency and resilience. He pointed out the increased dependency on electronic transactions, which has given rise to different kinds of payment methods. Chen introduced Taiwan’s Common Platform for Electronic Payment Institutions, an online tool that incorporates electronic payments into the interbank financial information system.

Director-General Hsu explained Taiwan’s tax structure, giving examples that demonstrated its consideration of a variety of domestic and international factors. She described Taiwan’s strategy of ensuring that all product, information, and cash flows are registered and tracked, strengthening the development of digital finance on the island.

National Taxation Bureau Director-General Hsu Tzu-mei

Both Chen and Hsu emphasized the development of digital finance and how it applies to banking systems, yet also reminded attendees of the potential vulnerabilities involved.

 

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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.

New FSC Chairman Outlines His Goals and Plans

Although just month into his new role as Chairman of the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), Huang Tien-Mu (黄天牧) has a clear vision for his organization. On June 29, the former FSC Vice Chairman Huang spoke at an AmCham joint committee luncheon about the agenda FSC would cover on his watch.

As Taiwan faces numerous financial issues, including challenges arising from the aging of the society and the need for its financial institutions to embrace fintech, Huang listed four main goals for his mission statement: strengthen financial resilience, push for innovation, develop a long-term financial strategy, and diversify a low-barrier entrance market. To achieve these goals, he laid out a six-step plan:

  1. Long-term business planning – increase the availability of English-language information and reports on companies with listed stocks.
  2. Green finance – a new version is in the works to drive greater contributions from the financial sector.
  3. Fintech advancement blueprint – FSC will propose a new development plan that targets the foundations of open banking, information sharing, etc.
  4. Insurance and debt – motivate Taiwan’s insurance industry to comply with international standards.
  5. Trust industry – beyond money trusts, trust service providers are encouraged to offer a variety of programs.
  6. Financial security – reinforce information security, which is critical to the development of Fintech.

Huang said he will follow a business model that includes gaining respect, building trust, and enabling transparency between the financial sector and the public. The overall goal is to be sustainable and financially inclusive.

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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.

In Memoriam: Dale Holmgren, 1935-2020

The memorial service for longtime AmCham Taipei member Dale Holmgren has been rescheduled for Sunday, July 12, from 2 pm to 5 pm at The Sherwood hotel ballroom.

The many friends of Dale Holmgren, a longtime prominent member of the Taipei expat community, are grieving his passing on June 22 at the age of 85. Dale joined AmCham Taipei in 1962, served on the Chamber’s Board for 13 years in the 1960s and 1970s, and was honored with the appointment as Emeritus Member in 2014. He was also active in the Rotary Club and was a past president of the founding chapter in Taiwan.

A native of Kansas and a graduate of Kansas State University in hotel and restaurant management, Dale was sent to Taiwan in 1958 as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Given his academic background, he was assigned to be manager of the Officers’ Club. After leaving military service, he was hired by Civil Air Transport, then Taiwan’s only airline, to oversee in-flight services. The job included supervising flight attendants, which is how he met his future wife Helen.

In 1965, Dale established the trading company, Oakwood International, that he continued to lead until his death.

AmCham Taipei releases 2020 Taiwan White Paper

The 2020 Taiwan White Paper released on June 10 emphasizes the new opportunities for the Taiwan economy as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Some 30 reporters from local and international media attended the launch press conference presided over by AmCham Taipei Chairman C.W. Chin and President William Foreman.

2020 Taiwan White Paper News Conference

 

Following the press conference, the Chamber held a luncheon meeting in the Grand Ballroom of the Regent Taipei with over 130 members and guests in attendance. Guest speakers included American Institute in Taiwan Director W. Brent Christensen and the newly appointed National Development Council Minister, Kung Ming-hsin, who received the 2020 White Paper on behalf of the Taiwan government.

Minister Kung expressed optimism about Taiwan’s economy, citing the trend of Taiwanese businesses returning home, the country’s outstanding efforts in containing COVID-19, and new opportunities generated by U.S.-China trade tensions. Kung listed a few major projects the NDC would focus on in the coming years, including massive digital infrastructure investment and deepening U.S.-Taiwan relations. He also promised to continue working with the American side on breaking through the ongoing gridlock on U.S. imports of pork and beef.

In their briefing on the White Paper contents at both the press conference and membership luncheon, Chin and Foreman stressed the Chamber’s gratitude to Taiwan’s government for making Taiwan one of the safest places in the world during the pandemic.

  • Continuing progress – Of the 82 issues raised by AmCham Taipei’s industry committees this year, 11 – or 13% – were deemed resolved, a tie with the record-breaking 2018 White Papers. The 11 issues included two from the Insurance and Tax committees, and one each from the Cosmetics, Human Resources, Pharmaceutical, Technology, Telecom and Media, and Travel and Tourism sectors. Chin and Foreman emphasized that the consistently high number of resolved issues over the past three years demonstrated the Taiwan government’s willingness to work together with industries to reduce regulatory obstacles.
  • Remaining challenges – While changing world conditions present Taiwan with a golden opportunity to attract new investment, a clear roadmap for renewable energy development is needed to navigate these changes effectively. In addition, the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device sectors urge the National Health Insurance Administration to expand its budget to enable new and innovative treatments to reach the Taiwan market more quickly. AmCham’s Technology and Digital Economy committees emphasized that increased communication between government authorities and industry is needed to open the way for new business ideas based on digital platforms.
  • Ensuring sufficient talent – The 2020 Taiwan White Paper saw the addition of a new section containing suggestions for how to foster and maintain a pool of internationally minded, digitally savvy talent. This section was part of the Talent Circulation Alliance, a joint initiative between the American Institute in Taiwan and Taiwan governmental and non-governmental organizations. A printed supplement fleshing out the suggestions and ideas contained in the Talent Circulation Alliance White Paper was released simultaneously.

In his remarks, Director Christensen reiterated the Talent Circulation Alliance’s role in this year’s White Paper, highlighting the need for Taiwan to do more to attract and retain both local and foreign talent. He also noted that the state of U.S.-Taiwan relations is better than ever, describing the relationship as “real friends, real progress (真朋友; 真進步).”

 

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.

AmCham Taipei and Facebook Offer Free Hands-On Advice to Business to Cope with Challenging Times

The American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei and Facebook will co-launch the first Facebook LIVE sessions that will help guide big and small businesses through the hard times of the Covid-19 pandemic. The four weekly sessions, running from late May to July, will cover topics from e-commerce and SMEs going global to smart retail and branding.

“Driving innovation is at the core of our mission,” said William Foreman, President of AmCham Taipei. “To survive the extreme challenges posed by Covid-19, companies desperately need to be more innovative and explore new ways to do business. The Facebook LIVE sessions will be a valuable source of guidance and inspiration that companies need to survive – and hopefully thrive – during these tough times.”

The LIVE series will feature speakers from multinationals, SMEs and start-ups to share best practices, success stories, and real-life cases of how businesses navigate through practical difficulties and turn crises into opportunities. Facebook will also share their observations in supporting entrepreneurship.

“We are honored to partner with AmCham to launch the Facebook Live series in supporting local businesses through trainings, business insights and best practices. This is an unprecedented challenge for many of us and the broader Taiwan communities, and we are committed to supporting local businesses during this extremely difficult time,” said Fei Yu, Head of Taiwan and Hong Kong at Facebook.

Media representatives and all are welcome to sign up for the sessions below.

 

The LIVE sessions will be available at the following links:

 

Below is the schedule of the LIVE sessions:

Episode 1 May 22 The Era of Digital Transformation

迎接數位轉型時代

Watch Here

Episode 2 June 5 Be the Next Smart Retail

智慧零售攻略

Watch Here

Episode 3 June 19 Marketing Your Brand Online

提升品牌線上能見度全方位指南

Watch Here

Episode 4 July 2 Going Global

中小企業如何跨出海外

Watch Here

 

AmCham Taipei Applauds Dr. Chen Mei-lin 台北市美國商會感謝甫卸任的國發會主委陳美伶

AmCham Taipei applauds efforts of Dr. Chen Mei-lin in improving Taiwan’s investment environment

The American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei would like to acknowledge the contribution made to Taiwan’s investment environment by Dr. Chen Mei-Ling, and thank her for her leadership over the past two years as the Minister of National Development Council.

During her time as Minister, Dr. Chen has been integral to the important achievements we have made together, particularly the implementation of the Patent Linkage system, amendments to the Labor Standards Act, and improvement of Taiwan’s IPR protection. It is our great pleasure on behalf of our member companies to thank Dr. Chen for her dedication and commitment to improving and modernizing Taiwan’s regulatory environment.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shuttered economies around the globe. As AmCham Taipei and Taiwan have faced hard times together before, we have every confidence that once again, we will rise to the challenge and thrive during these testing times. AmCham Taipei looks forward to continuing to work with National Development Council Minister Kung Ming-hsin to make Taiwan one of the best investment destinations in the world.

 

台北市美國商會感謝甫卸任的國家發展委員會主委陳美伶對改善台灣投資環境之貢獻

陳美伶前主委與台北市美國商會攜手推動西藥專利連結制度、勞動基準法修法以及促進智慧財產權保護等重要成果。本商會有幸代表會員公司,誠摯感謝陳前主委致力改善並促進台灣法規環境現代化之貢獻。

台北市美國商會與台灣此前已共同度過諸多嚴峻時刻,我們對與台灣攜手克服新冠肺炎對全球經濟帶來之挑戰深具信心。台北市美國商會期待持續與國發會龔明鑫主委合作,打造台灣成為全球最適合投資的國家之一。

AmCham Taipei Applauds U.S. Senate Passage of S. 249

The American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei (AmCham Taipei) applauds the U.S. Senate for passage of S. 249, calling for the Secretary of State to develop a strategy for Taiwan to regain observer status in the World Health Organization. AmCham Taipei urges the House of Representatives to pass a companion bill in order to fully cement U.S. Congress’ support for Taiwan’s participation in the WHO.

The world is now faced with unprecedented challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Responding to these challenges therefore necessitates the collective efforts of every member of the international community. As the World Health Organization, the WHO’s responsibility should be to cover the healthcare interests of every part of the globe.

Taiwan’s success in containing COVID-19 is a testament to its excellent healthcare system and disease control capabilities. In addition, Taiwan has a long-standing commitment to global health security, investing over US$6 billion in international aid programs since 1996, according to recently passed Senate bill. Taiwan’s dedication to these efforts over the years proves its qualifications to be an able and willing participant in the WHO.
AmCham Taipei supports Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the WHO. We stand strong with the people of Taiwan, who for decades have provided a safe, stable, and sustainable environment for international business, positively impacting our more than 500 member companies.

Please note AmCham Taipei’s recent editorial: “Reform, Don’t Undermine, the WHO.

About AmCham Taipei
Founded in 1951, the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei (AmCham Taipei) is a non-profit, non-partisan business organization dedicated to promoting the interests of international business in Taiwan. With around 1,000 members from more than 500 companies representing various industry interests, AmCham speaks with collective authority on business issues as they affect its member companies operating in Taiwan.

For more information, please contact:
Gwenyth Wang-Reeves
[email protected]
(02) 2718-8226 Ext. 314

AmCham Taipei Holds Online Press Conference to Announce Results of COVID-19 Flash Survey

AmCham Taipei held an online press conference on April 15 to announce the results of the Chamber’s COVID-19 Flash Survey. The event was held remotely in consideration of social distancing suggestions and safety concerns regarding the COVID-19 outbreak. Local and international media outlets logged in to join the conference and raise questions about the results.

The Flash Survey was intended to follow up on the Chamber’s annual Business Climate Survey, which was held between January and February of this year, when the outbreak began intensifying. Members were asked about whether the pandemic had affected their business in Taiwan, in what ways they were negatively impacted, and what kind of measures they were taking to deal with the impact, among other questions. 

After presenting the survey results, AmCham Taipei Chairman C.W. Chin and President William Foreman answered questions sent in by reporters. Foreman emphasized that very few respondents said that they have laid off or furloughed employees as a way to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on business, while a majority of respondents stated that they have no plans to do so in the future. 

Rather, Foreman noted, many companies are using the downtime caused by the pandemic to do trainings and work through new strategic issues. Chin followed by saying that the reluctance to resort to laying off employees shows that Taiwan is a bright spot for doing business during the crisis. He referred to the continued robust operation of the semiconductor industry as a case in point.

「台北市美國商會」(AmCham Taipei) 與「台灣美國商會」(TACC)並無關連

The American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei (台北市美國商會) has no relationship with the Taiwanese American Chamber of Commerce. It has no comment on any statement by TACC Chairman Neil Hare.

「台北市美國商會」(The American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei) 與「台灣美國商會」(Taiwanese American Chamber of Commerce)並無關連,本商會亦不便對該會會長海爾(Neil Hare)先生之言論多所評論。