AmCham Taiwan Releases its 2022 White Paper

Nearly 40 reporters from local and international media outlets converged at the Regent Taipei on June 22 as AmCham announced the release of its 2022 Taiwan White Paper. The press conference, led by AmCham Taiwan Vice Chairperson Andrea Wu and President Andrew Wylegala, was followed by a special luncheon for members and their guests.

Wylegala opened the event by highlighting the importance of the White Paper and its 26-year history as the Chamber’s signature annual advocacy document representing the interests of the Taiwan business community, as well as a platform for AmCham to articulate its vision for U.S.-Taiwan bilateral economic relations. Additionally, Wylegala expressed optimism regarding future trade relations and highlighted many promising trade initiatives involving Taiwan and the U.S., such as the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade, the Technology Trade and Investment Collaboration (TTIC) framework, and multilateral agreements on digitalization and chip supply chains. 

In her remarks, Wu touched on important topics from this year’s White Paper, including AmCham Taiwan’s extended multi-track advocacy strategy and members’ requests for fast-tracking digitalization, accelerating the reopening of borders, reducing double taxation, and driving sustainability. 

Wu stressed that Taiwan currently finds itself in a “golden moment” of international attention and goodwill following its impressive economic performance and international contribution during the pandemic, but that it must do more to ensure that its hard efforts are not in vain. In this year’s White Paper, AmCham members urged Taiwan to speed up its digital transformation, enhance bilingualism, and address energy concerns to better facilitate international trade and investment.

During the media Q&A session, Wu noted that the overall tone of 2022 White Paper’s is more urgent and direct than in the past because the number of committee issues that had been resolved in the last year fell in comparison to the year before. AmCham members hope Taiwan can accelerate the pace of its reform and development and seize the golden opportunity presented to it in the post-pandemic world.

Wu also voiced hope that the government would further promote the Gold Card visa program and review and update its 2030 Bilingual policy to attract more foreign talent. Meanwhile, Wylegala stressed the importance of training and circulating specialized labor, naming the Talent Circulation Alliance as an initiative with significant potential. He also noted that “talent is key to our member companies and our future.”

The press conference was followed by a luncheon attended by around 120 AmCham members and their guests, as well as special guest Deputy Minister of the National Development Council Kao Shien-quey. Following a presentation by Wylegala and Wu, Kao was invited to the stage to receive a copy of the White Paper. In a speech, she expressed her gratitude to AmCham for its long-term advice on improvements to Taiwan’s investment environment and for supporting the strengthening of U.S.-Taiwan economic and trade relations. 

Kao noted that the recently announced U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st Century Trade is a historic breakthrough in Taiwan-U.S. relations and requested AmCham’s assistance in steadily advancing the objective of negotiating a bilateral trade agreement. The minister cited a number of recent government initiatives that address some of AmCham members’ most pressing issues, including energy stability, digitalization, and the reopening of borders. 

Finally, Kao thanked AmCham for its long-term support and assistance to Taiwan. “At this critical moment for Taiwan-U.S. relations, the Chamber plays an even more important role than before,” she said.

 

Extensive reports on the U.S.-Taiwan relationship

AmCham is pleased to share a few recent think tank reports on the ever-deepening U.S.-Taiwan economic relationship.

No more foundational technology, value chain, nor partnership exists than those covered by our U.S.-Taiwan BTA Coalition partners at Project 2049 and the U.S.-Taiwan Business Council in their upcoming report on semiconductors. The report release will take place on June 8, at 2 p.m. EST. For more information, please visit U.S., Taiwan, and Semiconductors – A Critical Supply Chain Partnership (us-taiwan.org)

Widening the lens on the partnership, scan this timely update on the economic case for a Taiwan FTA (“the BTA”) from the Heritage Foundation. The BTA is a long-overdue development and until now, a quantitative case for the business and worker benefits of such an agreement has been missing. As the BTA Coalition has noted, AmCham hopes that the promising new “U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade” announced last week by the U.S. Trade Representative will serve as springboard to a comprehensive agreement that provides market access benefits and meaningful further integration. To read the report by The Heritage Foundation, go to U.S.–Taiwan Free Trade Agreement: The Economic Case | The Heritage Foundation

To understand the “why” and “how” of expanding U.S. and multilateral economic ties with Taiwan, be on the lookout for Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and Global Taiwan Institute Adviser Robert Wang’s forthcoming report on the GTI’s website.

Additionally, GTI provides an excellent panel discussion that hits the highlights of the latter two studies.

The IPEF train has departed. Now transferring to the BTA track

Although Taiwan is not included as a core member of the Biden administration’s new regional trade pact, it may now have an opportunity to conclude a U.S.-Taiwan bilateral trade agreement (BTA). AmCham President Andrew Wylegala and Senior Advisor Don Shapiro make the case for more concerted action in both Taiwan and on Capitol Hill in this op-ed for CommonWealth Magazine.

To read the full article, please go to The IPEF train has departed. Now transferring to the BTA track|Insight|2022-05-23|web only (cw.com.tw)

To download the article, click here.

Further reading in Chinese – 【獨家】沒被納入印太經濟架構 鄧振中:台美將開啟新一輪經貿談判

2022 Hsieh Nien Fan Celebrates Taiwan’s and AmCham’s Achievements

An impressive crowd of nearly 550 members, guests, and government officials gathered at the Grand Hyatt Taipei on March 30 to celebrate the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan’s 54th annual Hsieh Nien Fan banquet.

While the Hsieh Nien Fan serves as a way for the Chamber to thank its partners in the Taiwan government for their cooperation and support, the timing of this year’s event presented AmCham with a special opportunity to unveil its brand new logo. The sleek, stylish design was created by National Taiwan University of Arts graduate student John Zheng, a strong demonstration of AmCham’s commitment to supporting the development of next-generation talent in Taiwan.

The evening was also an occasion to debut pre-publication copies of Taiwan Matters for America/America Matters for Taiwan, a concise monograph collaboratively produced by the U.S.-based East-West Center and AmCham. Through data, stories, graphics, and photos, the booklet outlines the important trade, investment, security, people-to-people, and other ties between the U.S. and Taiwan.

As attendees took their seats, AmCham Taiwan Chairperson Vincent Shih gave opening remarks. He commended Taiwan for its exemplary handling of the pandemic, which he noted has “fueled both strong economic growth and positive international recognition” over the past two years. Nevertheless, Shih urged Taiwan’s government to resolve pressing issues related to power supply and grid resilience and to normalize visa issuance. Addressing the U.S. side, he called for movement toward bilateral trade agreement talks with Taiwan, as well as Taiwan’s inclusion in the Biden administration’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.

Upholding a tradition of more than 20 years, President Tsai Ing-wen next provided the evening’s keynote speech, in which she highlighted Taiwan’s achievement of its highest economic growth in 11 years and the ever-improving U.S.-Taiwan trade relationship. She acknowledged that to ensure continued growth and competitiveness, Taiwan’s government plans to increase its efforts in talent cultivation, as well as strengthen the island’s energy infrastructure and information security.

President Tsai also recognized AmCham’s dedication over the past seven decades to advancing Taiwan’s economic development and building its ties with the American and international business communities. “I want to thank AmCham Taiwan for all that you do to make Taiwan better,” she said.

Following President Tsai’s speech, American Institute in Taiwan Director Sandra Oudkirk addressed the banquet. She highlighted U.S.- Taiwan cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, joint efforts to promote global supply chain resilience, and the importance of economic, security, and trade ties between the U.S. and Taiwan. Following her speech, video messages of congratulations from Counselor of the U.S. Department of State Derek Chollet and Counselor to the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Commerce Arun Venkataraman were played.

Besides President Tsai, high-ranking Taiwanese officials in attendance included Secretary-General of the Presidential Office David Lee, Secretary-General of the National Security Council Wellington Koo, Vice Premier Shen Jong-chin, Secretary-General of the Legislative Yuan Lin Chih-chua, Minister without Portfolio John Deng, National Development Council Minister Kung Ming-hsin, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung, Minister of Science and Technology Wu Tsung-tsong, Minister of Finance Su Jain-rong, Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang, Minister of Labor Chen Ming-jen, Chairman of the National Communications Commission Chen Yaw-shyang, and Chairperson of the Taiwan Council for U.S. Affairs Yang Jen-ni. In addition, representatives from Taiwan’s six municipalities attended the event, including Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, New Taipei Mayor Hou Yu-ih, and deputy mayors from Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, and Taichung.

 

AmCham Taiwan appreciates the sponsorship from the following company members for this event:

 

2022 Hsieh Nien Fan Remarks by Vincent Shih, Chairperson of AmCham Taiwan

Taipei, Taiwan, March 30, 2022

(As Prepared)

President Tsai, AIT Director Oudkirk, Distinguished Guests, and Chamber Members, good evening and welcome to AmCham’s annual Hsieh Nien Fan. This is my first banquet as Chairperson, but, remarkably, the 54th for the Chamber!

I’m very pleased to see such an impressive number of senior officials, including from three municipalities, as our special guests for this special evening. Thanks to the cooperative spirit of all in this room, and the stellar public health management by Taiwan’s authorities, we can gather in force to celebrate another year of improving Taiwan’s business environment.

Tonight, our Chamber caps a year-long journey to re-register and re-brand the venerable “AmCham Taipei” under the proud name, “AmCham Taiwan,” by unveiling a new logo that captures our larger identity – and still larger ambitions.  Reflecting our commitment to supporting next-generation talent, we selected a design by graduate student John Zheng from National Taiwan University – which also happens to be my alma mater. We are excited to begin using this new logo, and to fulfilling the promise it embodies by expanding our programming all over Taiwan, radiating out beyond our traditional base here in the North.

I am also pleased that tonight, AmCham, in collaboration with America’s prestigious East-West Center, is sharing a pre-publication glimpse of a physically compact but informationally rich publication, Taiwan Matters for America/America Matters for Taiwan, which depicts with data and graphics the economic, security, and people-to-people ties between Taiwan and the United States.  With the Center and key stakeholders across Congressional and Executive branches we are working on the booklet’s formal launch and follow-on feature articles.  During this unique time, when no one country can be excused from the current challenges, it’s even more meaningful to highlight that we stand with freedom, stand with democracy, and stand with the U.S.-Taiwan partnership!

There is much to celebrate in Taiwan these days. Its effective and humane handling of the pandemic has fueled both strong economic growth and positive international recognition. Yet our grounds for celebration extend beyond a healthy environment for daily life. Taiwan has proven itself to be an exemplar – not just regionally but globally – of democratic values, human rights, and a dynamic market economy. I believe you will all agree with me that this is an exciting time to be living and doing business in Taiwan.

Taiwan’s success is fully appreciated by AmCham’s members, as our January 2022 Business Climate Survey documented. A remarkable 87% of respondents expressed optimism about Taiwan’s economy in 2022, while an even higher 90% were very or somewhat confident in their company’s revenue growth.

Our member firms are responsible for a large share of the billions of dollars of inbound investment and innovation over the past few years. Indeed, Taiwan’s impressive growth has been driven by increased investments, supported by government policies to attract foreign direct investment and that of Taiwanese firms returning from overseas. This trend will continue only with the government’s support for a faster and more transparent review process for M&A and assurance of a free two-way flow of all types of capital investment.

To be sure, several areas of preoccupation were also identified in the BCS, especially concerning Taiwan’s energy environment.  Manufacturers worry that Taiwan’s grid resilience and relatively thin supply margins may not ensure a steady power supply. Energy forms a key pillar among the overarching government resilience concept, which has been highlighted around the world during these challenging times.  With the contributions by our members in the technology, energy, infrastructure, and investment sectors, AmCham Taiwan can further strengthen our partnership with the Taiwan government to address energy, sustainability, digital transformation, supply chain, cybersecurity and other resilience challenges.

In addition, our Chamber strongly feels that for Taiwan to continue to prosper, executive-level commitment to normalizing consular processes for business, academic, and other two-way travel is imperative. We were pleased to learn of the expansion of business visas for Taiwan travel earlier this month, an excellent initial step. A commitment to resume visa-free travel with quarantine and vaccine requirements in place can help Taiwan to remain competitive before the quarantine-free travel we’ve recently seen implemented in other countries is eventually adopted here.

Amid these concerns, we are encouraged by the strengthening of relations between Taiwan and the U.S.  The new Technology Trade and Investment Collaboration framework linking the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Commerce Department is a tremendously promising complement to the “TIFA” and “EPPD” meetings which were also given fresh impetus in 2021.  In fact, AmCham’s new Semiconductor Committee is already at work supporting the first of several TTIC working groups.  Securing critical supply chains — from chips to eVs and beyond – is existential work, and it is hard to imagine a global solution that does not incorporate Taiwan!

AmCham firmly believes that a comprehensive Bilateral Trade Agreement – or BTA – is optimal for both sides, and we wish to call on Congress to initiate a study into the pursuit of a U.S.-Taiwan BTA.  As we continue to press for broad negotiations, we also support the so-called chapter approach – narrow accords on digital trade, cybersecurity, industrial standards, and cross-border taxation – that can build up to a free trade agreement.

Beyond the BTA, we applaud the Biden Administration’s strategy for a free and open Indo-Pacific. Taiwan’s model is highly relevant to the hallmarks of this Strategy – connectedness, prosperity, security, and resilience; as has been well said recently, “Taiwan can help!

At least on par with peer economies within the important CPTPP Agreement to which Taiwan has applied, this country has the capacity to contribute to high standards agreements in labor, sustainability and beyond.  These topics will be workstreams of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework under the Indo-Pacific Strategy.  I also urge our friends from AIT to relay to Washington our call for Taiwan’s inclusion within Framework discussions, as we look forward to doing in person through AmCham’s Washington Doorknock visits.

Of course, the primary purpose each year of this Hsieh Nien Fan is to express our gratitude to our friends and partners in the Taiwan government for their cooperation and support. With each passing year, the relationship simply gets better and better.

Although time unfortunately limits me from showing appreciation to each of our esteemed government guests individually, I would like to thank the National Development Council for their invaluable collaboration with the Chamber all year long and, particularly, in the fruitful discussions and meetings between our industry committees and corresponding government agencies to discuss 2021 White Paper issues.

Thank you, also, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their consistent support and special generosity in providing the Taipei Guest House to celebrate our 70th anniversary last November.

Naturally, our Chamber would never have thrived into its 71st year without help from another indispensable government partner. AmCham remains deeply indebted for the unceasing support from our good friends at AIT, now led by yet another extraordinary diplomat — who I hope will also enjoy her first Hsieh Nien Fan — Director Oudkirk.

In re-emphasizing the motif of the evening – gratitude – I would like to express my immense appreciation to Her Excellency President Tsai Ing-wen for joining us and delivering a keynote speech. By doing so, she continues a tradition started by the late President Lee Teng-hui and which has gone unbroken for more than two decades.

Again, it is our distinct honor to have President Tsai with us tonight, and I hope that all of you will enjoy this lovely evening.

Improving the Health of Taiwan’s Aging Population

AmCham Taiwan’s 2021 Healthy Aging Forum was held on November 24 at the W Hotel Taipei, drawing an audience of 128 members and their guests. The event, which featured speakers and panelists from government, academia, and industry, gave stage to a diverse range of viewpoints on the impact of Taiwan’s aging population and potential healthcare solutions.

This year’s forum featured three keynote speakers: Vice President Lai Ching-te, American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Sandra Oudkirk, and Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Shih Chung-Liang.

Vice President Lai expressed his and President Tsai Ing-wen’s gratitude to the U.S. for its support of Taiwan and for donating much-needed COVID-19 vaccines to the island. Highlighting the significance of the event’s topics, Lai stated that national health policies and the use of emerging technology are vital to promoting healthy aging.

In her speech, Director Oudkirk noted the longstanding partnership between the U.S. and Taiwan on healthcare. She also underscored the importance of maintaining the financial stability of Taiwan’s healthcare system, as well as utilizing public-private partnerships (PPP) to address challenges related to an aging society.

Next, Deputy Minister Shih discussed methods to develop Taiwan’s capacity to manage the aging population and the need for government policies over the next decade to address aging and offer support for age-friendly communities.

Deputy Director-General of the Health Promotion Administration (HPA) under the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) Chia Shu-li presented the HPA’s many programs and collaborations that promote age-friendly communities and active aging in line with World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.

The next speaker, Taiwanese Osteoporosis Association Chairperson Dr. Hwang Jawl-shan, emphasized that more extensive screening programs for bone mass density to identify moderate to high risk for osteoporotic fractures, as well as preventive osteoporotic fracture care, are essential to improving quality of life for the elderly.

This year’s Healthy Aging Forum featured two panel discussions moderated by Taipei Veterans General Hospital Superintendent Dr. Huey-Herng Sheu and Academia Sinica Academician Dr. Chen Pei-Jer, respectively. Panelists included HPA Deputy Director-General Chia Shu-li, National Health Insurance Administration Director-General Lee Po-Chang, Taiwanese Osteoporosis Association Chairperson Dr. Hwang Jawl-shan, Amgen Taiwan General Manager Joyce Lee, E-Dah Hospital Attending Physician Dr. Hsu Yao-Chun, Taiwan Association for the Study of the Liver Chief Executive, Dr. Lin Jaw-Town of China Medical University Hospital, and Formosa Cancer Foundation Vice President Tsai Li-Jiuan.

Topics explored included how to promote healthy aging through preventive screening, standardized evaluations, and health awareness promotion. Panelists also discussed the use of big and marginal data and public-private partnerships in creating a more effective strategy to prepare for a super-aged society, which Taiwan is projected to become by 2025.

Following remarks by Chen Pei-Jer, Hsu Yao-Chun gave a presentation on how Taiwan will achieve the WHO’s goal of eradicating the hepatitis B virus (HBV). He urged the government to quickly develop a national HBV policy to support Taiwan’s efforts to achieve the WHO’s goals and protect HBV patients in Taiwan.

Cigna Taiwan CEO and AmCham Governor Tim Shields introduced the final speaker, FarHugs CEO Cary Hsieh, who spoke about the importance of including mental health in the concept of healthy aging. Hsieh stressed the need for access to mental health services and discussed the overlap between digital technology and mental health care.

In closing remarks, AmCham President Andrew Wylegala expressed his gratitude to the speakers and participants on behalf of the Chamber and noted that the connections made during the event could foster new projects and partnerships to promote healthy aging.

 

Click to see the detailed Mandarin summary about this event – 第三屆健康樂齡論壇 – 活動紀實

 

The forum’s platinum sponsors were Amgen and Gilead. Cigna was the gold sponsor.

2022 Business Climate Survey Results Show Record High Confidence

AmCham Taiwan Chairperson Vincent Shih announced the results of the Chamber’s 2022 Business Climate Survey (BCS) on January 19 at a press conference held on the 11th floor of the W Hotel. Around 17 media organizations were represented at the event. Shih detailed the survey’s major findings, which were summarized in a 16-page report produced by AmCham. The report conveys the responses of 178 voting members, who are all business leaders in Taiwan, with most holding upper management positions at their companies.

The Chamber was excited to disclose that a record percentage of respondents – over 87% – expressed confidence in Taiwan’s economic performance for the coming year, while those who held an optimistic outlook regarding the next three years was 83%, five percentage points higher than in 2021. In addition, an eye-popping 90% said held a positive view of their own company’s prospects over the next year, while an even higher 91% were upbeat about the upcoming three-year period. Shih observed that this confidence is also reflected in member companies’ extensive investments in recent months and years.

Regarding Taiwan’s COVID-19 pandemic control, members expressed a high degree of satisfaction – more than 78% said they were very or somewhat satisfied with the government’s efforts to control the COVID-19 outbreak so far. Although this represents a decrease from 2021, it nevertheless reflects an overall high level of confidence in the government’s ability to combat COVID-19. Members overwhelmingly favored a gradual border reopening; however, such an easing of restrictions would need to meet certain criteria, such as a 70+% full vaccination rate among Taiwan’s population and a demonstrated capacity of the island’s hospitals to manage both COVID and non-COVID patients.

Overall, Shih said, the BCS results reflect the consensus among member companies that Taiwan is an overwhelmingly positive environment for multinational companies. Additionally, nearly all survey respondents were confident that the Bilingual Nation 2030 policy would benefit Taiwan’s economic development, regardless of which date the goal is reached. As a vital voice for the international business community in Taiwan with a stake in its future prosperity, AmCham is more than willing to aid in fostering and promoting Taiwan’s continued economic growth.

Answering questions from reporters, Shih noted that AmCham members’ expectations of strong economic growth for Taiwan in 2022 are closely aligned with the optimistic forecasts made by major financial institutions. He emphasized that recent heightened geopolitical tensions are not expected to dampen economic prospects for the island. Furthermore, although COVID-19 has inhibited the influx of talent, companies expressed an overall high level of satisfaction regarding their ability to recruit enough and sufficiently capable personnel for their operations in Taiwan.

A luncheon gathering held in the W Hotel’s eighth-floor ballroom followed the press conference. Following an introduction by AmCham Treasurer Terry Tsao, Shih again presented the BCS results to an audience of 60 members and their guests. A fruitful discussion among members on specific issues related to Taiwan’s business climate ensued thereafter.

 

To download and view the complete report, click here.

 

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 Celebrates its 70th in Style at Historic Taipei Guest House

A sizeable crowd of over 200, including members, guests, high-ranking government officials, and other VIPs, converged at the Taipei Guest House in Taipei’s Zhongzheng District on December 8 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan. Speaking at the event were President Tsai Ing-wen, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu, and American Institute in Taiwan Director Sandra Oudkirk.

The location for the celebration illustrated the strong and enduring relationship AmCham has cultivated with its Taiwan government partners over the years – the Taipei Guest House is generally reserved for receiving foreign dignitaries, as well as for state banquets and other official activities. AmCham was honored to be invited into this beautiful and historically significant venue to commemorate its seven decades of service to the international business community in Taiwan.

As guests began arriving, they posed for photographs in front of a 70th anniversary backdrop in the Western-style mansion’s foyer, visited sponsor booths, and had the opportunity to record a video wishing the Chamber a happy anniversary. The atmosphere was one of merriment, as members and friends old and new greeted and mingled with each other.

Inside the main reception hall, guests were treated to video remarks from U.S. Senators Marco Rubio and Edward Markey, former AIT Directors William Stanton, Kin Moy, and Brent Christensen, and Taiwan Representative to the U.S. Hsiao Bi-khim. All emphasized the importance of the U.S.-Taiwan trade and economic relationship, as well as AmCham’s outsized role in helping develop that relationship over the many years.

At 7 p.m., the main portion of the event began. Chairperson Chin took the stage, which was set against the backdrop of the Taipei Guest House’s Japanese-style gardens. During his welcoming remarks, Chin reflected on some of the Chamber’s most notable accomplishments since its founding in 1951, including its involvement in shaping the U.S.’ Taiwan Relations Act in the late 1970s, as well as its support of Taiwan’s efforts to join the World Trade Organization’s precursor, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), in the early 2000s.

Minister Wu spoke next. He praised AmCham for its move to transition this year from “AmCham Taipei” to “AmCham Taiwan,” a name that better reflects the scope of the Chamber’s membership and business activities across the island. Following him was Director Oudkirk, who noted the many contributions of the American business community to Taiwan’s economy and the part AmCham has played in facilitating their success, all while being a reliable partner to AIT.

President Tsai, the evening’s keynote speaker, cited AmCham’s vaunted position in Taiwan’s history, explaining how the organization bore witness to Taiwan’s incredible economic development and its transformation from an authoritarian governing system to a thriving democracy. “As Taiwan persevered through historical challenges, AmCham Taiwan has always been a dependable friend and indispensable partner,” she said.

See more photos for this event.

Following the speeches, honored guests and AmCham Governors posed for photos, and a live band played a rousing collection of popular songs in English and Mandarin for attendees to enjoy. Meanwhile, President Tsai, Chairperson Chin, and other guests dined on fresh cuts of beef and other classic American dishes prepared by the Regent Taipei. A pop quiz yielded prizes for those with deep knowledge of the Chamber’s history and advocacy work.

At the end of the night, guests began to file out, picking up lavish gift bags featuring mementos from a few of the evening’s sponsors.

AmCham Taiwan is proud of its legacy as a voice for Taiwan’s global business community and a champion of strong U.S.-Taiwan relations. The Chamber looks forward to 70 more years as the premier international business association in Taiwan.

Toward a Practical Framework for Business Visa Issuance that Helps Taiwan Prosper, Re-engage and Attract Talent

AmCham Taiwan members have shared with the Chamber office mounting concerns about their companies’ inability to secure entry visas for short-term business travel to, and long-term assignment in, Taiwan.

 

Our office hears of similar “doing business” difficulties from counterparts in the European, Japanese, and domestic chamber communities, that are also reflected in the “White Papers,” issued by several of our fellow chambers. In response we drew up four questions that AmCham Taiwan put to our 400 voting members, while the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan (JCCIT) put the same questions to 500 of their members, 11/23-12/3. Of 900 firms queried, just under 10% of AmCham members responded and just under 30% of the Japanese firms did so.

 

The surveys revealed the following impact on the respondents from June 2021 to date:

  • 68% of AmCham and 73% of JCCIT firms have had their business hurt to some extent or a large extent by the inability to obtain business visas.
  • Over 2,200 individuals connected to the members of the two chambers have been unable to secure business visas for Taiwan.
  • Travel blockage has, or will impede, over US$400 million in transactions.
  • At least 22 investment projects have been or will be canceled or diverted from Taiwan by the inability to travel here.

 

To help resolve this problem, AmCham suggests the following broad measures be considered:

  1. BOLSTER THE TAIWAN ECONOMY – weight business travel alongside student, migrant worker, family travel, etc. Recognize that the cost of lost business is primarily borne by Taiwan companies and employees.
  2. ADHERE TO TRANSPARENCY AND NON-DISCRIMINATION – streamline applications and ensure a transparent, process with nearly automatic approval for bona fide business travel, without respect to industry sector or company.
  3. MAINTAIN PREDICTABILITY, UNDER A FLEXIBLE, RISK-BASED SYSTEM – grant visas rapidly, up to progressive caps that respond real-time to public health conditions, with published milestones (e.g., vaccination levels) or tripwires (ICU admissions, critical illnesses).

 

AmCham Taiwan is NOT calling for the immediate reduction or elimination of testing, quarantine, or other public health regulations for any entrants. NOR is AmCham calling for a full-scale travel opening that would result in a surge or sustained increase in entrants beyond levels which authorities deem prudent.

 

Our request is for a clear, measured policy that protects public health during pandemic (or epidemic) conditions without causing undue damage to Taiwan’s business environment and economic interests.

 

                                             12.2021