BTA Coalition Letter to United States Trade Representative

AmCham Chairperson CW Chin was delighted to awake to the announcement from U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and Minister John Deng that Trade and Investment Framework Agreements (TIFA) talks will be re-starting shortly, fulfilling a long-standing request of the 1,021 members of our Chamber.

TIFA talks not only remove impediments to two-way trade and investment but also set strategic direction for business development. It is entirely fitting that announcement of the TIFA re-start should coincide with another successful SelectUSA Annual Investment Summit, in virtual form this year, to which Taiwan – yet again – contributed the world’s largest single delegation. Frameworks like the TIFA, a plurilateral digital trade accord or an FTA, are only meaningful to the extent that private sector actors like AmCham Taiwan breath life – and jobs – into them.

AmCham Taiwan stands ready to join with our business partners and allies in the U.S.-Taiwan Bilateral Trade Agreement Coalition to build on the impetus provided by Ambassador Tai and Minister Deng.

On June 8, 2021, BTA Coalition members the US-Taiwan Business Council and the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan sent a joint letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Katherine Tai. In the letter, they conveyed the resumption of discussions under TIFA and a U.S.-Taiwan Bilateral Trade agreement. 

While restarting TIFA talks is an indispensable first win, the two organizations – representing American business interests in Taiwan on both sides of the Pacific – encouraged Ambassador Tai to announce her intention to initiate Bilateral Trade Agreement talks as soon as feasible.

Please see a copy of the letter below.

 

AmCham Hosts COVID-19 Webinar with InvesTaiwan CEO Emile Chang

The recent COVID-19 outbreak in Taiwan has caused much apprehension among Taiwan’s local and international business communities. To address some of their concerns, AmCham hosted a webinar on June 7 with InvesTaiwan CEO Emile Chang, who spoke to Chamber members about the pandemic’s impact on foreign businesses and investment in Taiwan. The event was moderated by Facebook Taiwan Public Policy Manager Max Chen.

In his opening remarks, Chang noted that when the recent outbreak occurred in Taiwan, a new work model began to develop based on the experiences of other countries hit harder by the pandemic last year. This model involved remote business meetings, as well as increased logistics and food delivery services, and the continuity of operations of supply chains.

The shift to work-from-home and rotating A and B work teams has progressed relatively smoothly, and the InvesTaiwan office’s operations have largely been unaffected in terms of productivity, Chang said. He highlighted that InvesTaiwan continues to provide a single service window for foreign business entities.

During the Q&A session, Chang said that if Level 4 restrictions were implemented in Taiwan, all government entities would maintain operations, with 70% of staff working from home and the remaining 30% going into the office. He stressed that InvesTaiwan is streamlining its workflows during the current Level 3 restrictions.

Chang also noted that operations of manufacturers in Taiwan’s science parks are of high priority for the government and that those operating outside the parks should plan according to their needs and submit their proposed plans to the government.

When asked how Taiwan can continue attracting foreign capital under the current circumstances, Chang said that InvesTaiwan is optimistic regarding Taiwan’s capacity to quickly bring the virus under control and continue its quest for more vaccines.

InvesTaiwan and other government entities are prepared to assist foreign businesses with difficulties arising from the outbreak, Chang said. Priority will be given to enabling the entrance of foreign talent as soon as the situation improves.

In response to a member’s question, Chang said that individuals who do not display active symptoms should avoid rapid-testing centers due to the risk of contagion at such sites. However, companies may apply for need-based large-scale rapid screenings.

Chang also noted that the Ministry of Health and Welfare arranges vaccinations, and the central government coordinates distribution in order of priority. Companies are advised to monitor the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) website and press releases and, if possible, maintain communication with the CDC.

In his closing remarks, Chang extended his compliments and gratitude to AmCham members and other foreign enterprises for their cooperation in the government’s efforts to control the virus and return to normalcy. He concluded that InvesTaiwan would continue providing work opportunities and lifetime business services.

53rd Annual Hsieh Nien Fan a Smashing Success

AmCham held its 2021 Hsieh Nien Fan banquet at the Grand Hyatt Taipei on April 21 – its 53rd such annual event and the first to be hosted by the Chamber since its name change from “AmCham Taipei” to “AmCham Taiwan.” This year’s Hsieh Nien Fan was attended by more than 691 AmCham members and their guests, and included a record number of 157 government officials. It was a night of great food, numerous photo opportunities, and lasting connections between attendees.

President Tsai Ing-wen delivered the keynote speech, and additional remarks were provided by AmCham Chairperson CW Chin and the American Institute in Taiwan Director Brent Christensen. This year, a few friends from Washington, including U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, Counselor of the State Department Derek Chollet, and Commerce Department Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Asia Richard Steffens, delivered video remarks affirming their commitment to deepening U.S.-Taiwan relations.

President Tsai congratulated AmCham Taiwan on its 70th anniversary and thanked the Chamber for “always being a dependable partner to Taiwan and the United States during many critical junctures in our relationship.” She expressed gratitude to AmCham Taiwan and the US-Taiwan Business Council for establishing the US-Taiwan Bilateral Trade Agreement Coalition to promote BTA negotiations.

Tsai also thanked Leo Seewald, who had served as AmCham’s president on an interim basis since last fall, for playing a leading role in the business community and contributing to the U.S.-Taiwan partnership. At the same time, she congratulated Andrew Wylegala for taking on the role of the new AmCham Taiwan President.

Director Christensen in his speech praised AmCham members for playing a critical in the U.S.-Taiwan partnership. He emphasized that U.S.-Taiwan ties have never been stronger and expressed his belief that the two partners can work together to come up with innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. The Chamber’s role will become even more critical, Christensen said, “as this economic and commercial relationship continues to expand and develop.”

Besides President Tsai and Former Vice President Chen Chien-jen, high-ranking Taiwanese officials in attendance included Secretary-General of the Presidential Office David Lee, Secretary-General of the National Security Council Wellington Koo, Secretary-General of the Executive Yuan Lee Meng-yen, 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 Finance Su Jain-rong, Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang, Deputy Minister of the Interior Chen Tsung-yen, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Lin Minn-tsong, Chairman of the National Communications Commission Chen Yaw-shyang, and Chairperson of the Taiwan Council for U.S. Affairs Yang Jen-ni. For the first time in the Chamber’s history, representatives from Taiwan’s six municipalities attended this event. They included New Taipei Mayor Hou Yu-ih, Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan, and deputy mayors from Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung.

A host of generous sponsors helped make the event possible: Platinum Sponsor Citi; Gold Sponsors Franklin Templeton Investments, Corning, and Standard Chartered Bank; Wine & Liquor Sponsors Diageo and Sergio Valente; Silver Sponsors 3M, Amgen, HSBC, JTI, Micron, and Semi; Bronze Sponsors Air Products, Baker McKenzie, Bechtel, Dun & Bradstreet, GE, Gilead, Invisalign, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, and Philip Morris Taiwan; and General Sponsors Grand Hyatt Taipei, IBM, Intel, Pfizer, P&G, Qualcomm, and the Tobacco Institute of the Republic of China.

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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.

Remarks by Chairperson CW Chin at the 53rd Annual Hsieh Nien Fan

The American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan held its 53rd annual Hsieh Nien Fan banquet on April 21 in the Grand Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt Taipei.

A transcript of the chairperson’s remarks is as follows (as prepared for delivery):

President Tsai, AIT Director Christensen, Distinguished Guests, and Chamber Members:

Good evening and welcome to AmCham’s 53rd annual Hsieh Nien Fan, our first such event as the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan! On behalf of the Board of Governors and our 1,000-plus Members, I’d like to thank everyone involved in making this evening possible. Let’s give them a round of applause for all their hard work!

It’s my pleasure to be with you once again tonight as we celebrate another successful year as the most impactful and influential international business organization in Taiwan. With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to wreak havoc across the world, it’s been a challenging time for everyone. We are very fortunate to be here in Taiwan, where – thanks to President Tsai and the tireless efforts of public health and other government officials – the economy is thriving, and people are able to move freely and go about their lives. Which is further exemplified here tonight, as we’ve been able to keep our unbroken record of holding the Hsieh Nien Fan banquet every year for 53 years. In fact, I hear it’s easier to get allocation for Automobile Chips from TSMC than a table at our sold-out event.

All joking aside, we are also here to celebrate Taiwan’s stellar economic achievement despite the pandemic.  While the economies of countless countries worldwide continue to suffer, Taiwan is one of the few economies that has been expanding with strong GDP growth of 2.98% last year and even higher growth forecasted for 2021 of more than 4%.  Covid has redefined the way we work and communicate – which in turn has benefited many industries where Taiwan plays a leading role in the global supply chain.  Nowhere is this more evident than in Taiwan’s semiconductor, technology and ICT sectors – in particular, local silicon-producing giants such as TSMC, UMC, and even US-based Micron.  We hope that as Taiwan basks in this golden moment of international attention and prestige, these pillars of its economic success can continue to innovate and expand, propelling Taiwan toward the future it deserves.

The Chamber is extremely pleased with the increasingly warm relationship between the U.S. and Taiwan, with many positive signals of support coming from the recently inaugurated Biden administration. We hope to keep moving forward in our efforts for greater economic cooperation between the two partners, whether through the resumption of TIFA talks, a double taxation agreement, or our ultimate goal of a U.S.-Taiwan BTA.

I’m particularly grateful for the enduring relationship we have maintained with the Taiwan government. Thanks to the coordination efforts of Minister Kung Ming-hsin 龔明鑫 and his National Development Council, we recently concluded a productive series of meetings between the Chamber’s industry committees and their relevant government agencies to discuss the 2020 White Paper issues. As we move closer to the June deadline for our 2021 Taiwan White Paper, I hope that we will have an opportunity to break last year’s record of 11 issues resolved!

As you can all see reflected in the audience here tonight, we have reached a new level of government engagement this year. Among you sit approximately 160 government officials and representatives. They come from a wide range of agencies and roles, showcasing the close working relationship and broad official support the Chamber enjoys.

I’d like to thank former Vice President 陳建仁Chen Chien-jen and chief deputy representative of the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association, Hoshino Mitsuaki, for their first-time attendance at the Hsieh Nien Fan. And a warm welcome back to Presidential Office Secretary-General David Lee, National Security Council Secretary-General Wellington Koo, Shen Jong-chin, and Legislative Yuan Secretary-General林世嘉 Lin Shih-chia.

We are also happy to have, for the first time in AmCham’s history, representatives from Taiwan’s six special municipalities attending this event. Thank you to Taoyuan Mayor 鄭文燦Cheng Wen-tsan, New Taipei Mayor 侯友宜 Hou You-Yi and the Deputy Mayors of Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung for coming tonight. We deeply appreciate your friendship and support and hope you will continue to join us on this special occasion in the years to come.

As we dine and enjoy each other’s company here tonight, I would like to give special mention to Leo Seewald, who stepped in as interim AmCham President last fall on short notice. During his productive tenure, Leo led the Chamber through our name change from “AmCham Taipei” to “AmCham Taiwan,” which we believe better reflects our brand and the diverse membership we represent. Leo also helped oversee the total renovation of AmCham’s office.

We are very grateful for Leo’s admirable stewardship during such a dynamic period, setting the stage for our new President, Andrew Wylegala, who joins us after a decorated 29-year career at the US Dept of Commerce, facilitating US Trade, investment and Business development abroad.  Andrew looks forward to utilizing his network and experience with the US government to further the US/Taiwan relationship. He is eager to begin work on making Taiwan even more competitive through support of the 2030 bilingual nation policy, Sovereign wealth fund initiative, and of course all of your White Paper issues!

Finally, during last year’s HNF dinner, President Tsai mentioned to me how she rarely is able to enjoy dining out due to her extremely busy schedule, which is why we are deeply honored to have her as our guest and keynote speaker again tonight.  The main purpose of Hsieh Nian Fan is to provide the Chamber with a unique way of “thanking” Government officials for their hard work and the close partnership we enjoy.  Thank you, President Tsai, for once again joining us as our keynote speaker tonight – a tradition that every president has honored the chamber with since Lee Teng-hui delivered the first presidential keynote speech at the 2000 AmCham Hsieh Nien Fan.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, please join me in welcoming Madame President Tsai Ing-wen to the podium…

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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.

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je Addresses AmCham Luncheon

AmCham Taiwan welcomed Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je to speak at its second Meet the Mayor luncheon event held at the Grand Hyatt Taipei. Mayor Ko spoke to a full house of members and their guests on his government’s smart city initiatives and post-pandemic transformation.

Mayor Ko began by recognizing Taiwan’s success in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and highlighted the fact that Taiwan was one of the few nations in the world to experience positive economic growth in 2020. He noted that Taiwan succeeded not only in keeping virus cases low but minimizing the pandemic’s effects on the everyday lives of citizens and residents. Ko pointed to the lessons Taiwan learned from the 2003 SARS outbreak, which played a huge role in the island’s superb handling of the current virus.

The mayor then shifted his focus to the main topic of his presentation, noting that Taipei still trails behind other cities in its smart city transformation. He said that promoting wider use of cashless payment methods and the TaipeiPASS – a card and mobile application used for public transportation and e-payments – are some of the main objectives of the Taipei City government’s technology integration strategy. A top-down approach to systemic implementation beginning with key social groups will help deliver policy objectives effectively, explained Ko.

Ko also discussed extensively the importance of smart education. He cited historic correlations between internet accessibility and academic performance to illustrate the need for digitalized education. Ko said great efforts by the city government have led to tangible results visible throughout Taipei’s classrooms.

Furthermore, Mayor Ko touched on the feasibility of investing in autonomous buses, not only in Taipei but throughout Taiwan. Ko explained that Taipei is well-suited for developing autonomous bus systems given the city’s well-established public transportation infrastructure. He also touched on 5G technologies for delivering medicine and U.S.-Taiwan collaboration on building high-tech talent pools.

The mayor ended by stressing the need to adopt risk-management approaches to policymaking in the post-pandemic world and the urgency to improve digital infrastructure for smart city transformation.

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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.

Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-Tsan Kicks off Meet the Mayor Event Series

For the first installment of AmCham’s special “Meet the Mayor” luncheon event series, Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan addressed an audience of members and their guests at the Shangri-la’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel Taipei’s second-floor ballroom.

Mayor Cheng began by highlighting Taiwan’s excellent economic performance over the past year, including the double-digit growth in its industrial output and similar growth in exports between January 2020 and 2021. He noted the many new and ongoing efforts in advancing the economic and security relationship between the U.S. and Taiwan, including cooperation on energy and technological development, as well as improving intellectual property protection and strengthening regional security, among others.

Photo Credit: Taoyuan City Government

Cheng went on to discuss the extent of foreign investment in Taoyuan, emphasizing that over 100 U.S. companies have invested in operations there. He said that Taoyuan has been the most successful location in all of Taiwan in terms of helping foreign and local companies resolve issues related to their investments. Some of the notable investors Cheng mentioned from among AmCham’s membership included Cisco, Costco, and GE.

Photo Credit: Taoyuan City Government

In addition, Cheng said, Taoyuan’s local supply chains are strong and abundant, particularly in the area of semiconductors, but also increasingly in 5G communications equipment. Many of the supply chain partners for U.S. multinationals such as Apple, Tesla, and Nike have factories or headquarters in Taoyuan. In addition, the presence of Taiwan’s largest international airport in Taoyuan has allowed it to develop a robust logistics industry, further bolstering its comprehensive supply chains.

Given Taoyuan’s economic and investment advantages and its supportive local government, it holds an important place in the U.S.-Taiwan relationship, Cheng said. Given this, he invited AmCham’s members to consider Taoyuan as their next partner or investment location in Taiwan.

Photo Credit: Taoyuan City Government

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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.

AmCham and AIT Hold First Quarterly Meeting of 2021

AIT Director Brent Christensen and several colleagues from the Institute’s Economic and Commercial Sections met with Chamber representatives and staff at AmCham Taiwan’s newly renovated office on March 9. It was the first quarterly meeting to be held between the two organizations this year.

Gathering in the Chamber’s meeting room and snacking on fresh Taiwanese pineapple, the meeting’s participants discussed a wide range of topics, including prospects for resuming Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) talks between the U.S. and Taiwan under the newly inaugurated Biden administration. Other issue areas included the Taiwan government’s progress on some of its flagship policy initiatives, while Chamber leadership conveyed issues related to their respective industries.

Attending the meeting from AmCham’s side were Chairperson CW Chin; President Leo Seewald; Board members Tim Shields, Angela Yu, Daniel Tseng, Roger Yee, Cynthia Chyn, Max Chen, and Shelley Chia; and AmCham Senior Director of Government and Public Affairs Gwenyth Wang-Reeves, Senior Advisor Don Shapiro, and Senior Editor of Publications Jeremy Olivier. AmCham Tax Committee Co-Chairs Cheli Liaw and Heidi Liu also joined the meeting to raise the issue of a double taxation agreement between the U.S. and Taiwan.

Director Christensen was accompanied by AIT Commercial Section Chief Brent Omdahl, Economic Section Chief Danielle Andrews, Economic Section Deputy Chief Arati Shroff, and Commercial Section Deputy Chief Andrew Gately.

AmCham President Leo Seewald Announces Results of 2021 Business Climate Survey

AmCham Taiwan President Leo Seewald announced the results of the Chamber’s 2021 Business Climate Survey (BCS) on January 21 at a press conference held on the 11th floor of the W Hotel. Around 15 media organizations were represented at the event. Seewald detailed the survey’s findings, which were illustrated in a 16-page report produced by AmCham. He emphasized that survey-takers were 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 – close to 86% – expressed confidence about the economic prospects for the coming year, 16 percentage points higher than in the 2020 survey. There was also a record high level of optimism regarding the 3-year economic outlook, although it was a slightly lower 78%. Seewald observed that this could indicate businesses’ concern about the future trajectory of the global economy.

2021 Business Climate Survey: AmCham President Leo Seewald presents results

In regard to Taiwan’s efforts to control the COVID-19 pandemic, members nearly unanimously expressed their satisfaction. A high 64% said they were very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the economic relief efforts over the past year, a 23 percentage point increase from when that question was posed to members in a COVID-19 flash survey conducted last April.

Overall, Seewald said, the results of the BCS reflect the consensus among member companies that Taiwan is an overwhelmingly positive environment for multinationals. Furthermore, the U.S.-China trade dispute and Taiwan’s excellent handling of COVID-19 have presented it with a golden opportunity, one that it needs to take advantage of, particularly in the areas of bilingualism and attracting and retaining foreign talent. As a representative of the international business community in Taiwan with a stake in its future prosperity, AmCham is more than willing to aid in any way it can.

Fielding questions from reporters, Seewald said that he didn’t expect a drastic change in the U.S.’ policy toward Taiwan now that President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has taken office. In any case, he said, such policy is not just the will of the president, but rather requires consensus from everyone in the government. Fortunately, there has been a growing recognition across the political aisle in Washington that Taiwan is a valuable partner with shared values and a similar global outlook.

A luncheon gathering followed the press conference at the W Hotel’s 8th-floor ballroom. AmCham Chairperson CW Chin presented the BCS results to an audience of 70 members and their guests. National Development Council Deputy Minister Shih Keh-her also provided some brief remarks, thanking Chamber members for their strong show of confidence in the Taiwan economy and highlighting the government’s major initiatives to drive development and improve the island’s business environment.

See the full presentation below or download the complete report, click here.

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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.

Deputy Minister C.C. Chen Addresses AmCham Luncheon

AmCham was honored to invite Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Chen Chern-chyi (“C.C. Chen”) to speak on January 6 at its first luncheon of 2021 – and its first event as the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan – held in the Sherwood Taipei’s third-floor ballroom. Deputy Minister Chen addressed an audience of nearly 80 members and their guests, detailing the progress made at the inaugural U.S.-Taiwan Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue (EPPD) that took place last November.

AmCham Taiwan President Leo Seewald provided some opening remarks, introducing the speaker and briefing members on upcoming events. Seewald highlighted the importance of the EPPD as one of the growing number of avenues for meaningful engagement between Taiwan and the U.S. “We’ve always been focused on free trade agreements and bilateral trade agreements – the big stuff – but this is a different way to work toward those goals,” he said, before giving the floor to Deputy Minister Chen.

As the leader of the Taiwanese delegation to the EPPD, Chen had some particularly eye-opening insights into the current economic relationship between the U.S. and Taiwan, as well as where it is heading. In his speech, he noted that the U.S. Department of State-led initiative was aimed at encouraging strategic cooperation and ensuring economic security through prosperity.

The dialogue also included discussion on how to provide a platform for U.S. businesses to restructure their global supply chains, with an eye to promoting Taiwan as a capable, complementary, trusted partner in this process. Both sides view the following areas as advantageous for U.S.-Taiwan supply chain collaboration:

  • Semiconductors, communications, AI, and other cutting-edge technologies
  • Innovative green energy
  • Strategic medical stockpile
  • Electric vehicles

Chen emphasized that the EPPD is no less significant than the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) talks that took place between his ministry and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative over several years – and which stalled out in 2016. It may even be as significant as a free trade agreement, he said, in that it represents a political commitment and a bipartisan consensus in Washington regarding Taiwan. It also stands for a “consensus between governments and the business community.”

Looking ahead, Chen said that the incoming Biden administration’s emphasis on improving the U.S. economy underscores the value of the EPPD and of Taiwan’s status as a strong economic partner. He called the dialogue a “living platform,” and noted its importance to strengthening the supply side of the U.S.-Taiwan economic relationship. However, a platform for advancing the market side is still needed. Therefore, Chen concluded, he and his colleagues in government will continue in their unwavering pursuit of a U.S.-Taiwan bilateral trade agreement moving forward.

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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.

Widening Access to Advanced Medical Technologies

Continuing the dialogue surrounding precision medicines and patient-centered care from a similar event three years earlier, the U.S.-Taiwan Innovative Patient-Centered Care Symposium, co-hosted by AmCham Taipei and the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), took place at the AIT compound in Neihu on December 18. The aim of the event was to demonstrate the value of innovation and explore the impact that advanced U.S. medical technology could have in Taiwan.

The event sponsors were Abbott Vascular, Edwards Lifesciences (Taiwan), Intuitive Surgical Sarl Taiwan Branch, and Novartis.

Opening remarks were delivered by AIT Director W. Brent Christensen and AmCham President Leo Seewald. The event featured presentations on the latest US medical technologies and success stories shared by several local doctors and medical experts. The speakers were former Vice President Chen Chien-jen; Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Hsueh Jui-yuan; Wang Jaw-yuan, attending physician in the Division of Colorectal Surgery at Kaohsiung Medical University Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital and a professor at Kaohsiung Medical University; Jong Yuh-jyh, President of the Kaohsiung Medical University; Shih Chun-che, Vice Superintendent of the Taipei Municipal Wanfang Hospital; and Lu Tse-min, Chief in the Division of Cardiology, Taipei Veterans General Hospital.

Among the medical technologies introduced were surgical robotics, gene therapy, innovations for structural heart disease, and advanced medical imaging. The medical experts shared personal stories of how innovative technology have helped to improve the quality of their patients’ lives. They particularly emphasized the importance of expanding access to the latest treatments. Although advanced medical technology requires higher healthcare expenditures, it enables healthcare providers to increase productivity, enhance treatment procedures, and improve clinical outcomes, thereby delivering life-enhancing care for patients.

In concluding remarks, former Vice President Chen expressed optimism that the signing of a bilateral cooperation agreement during U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar’s recent visit would enhance government and business collaboration between Taiwan and the U.S., as well as the sharing of information.

While many innovative U.S. medical technologies are available in Taiwan, cost considerations often pose an obstacle to their widespread adoption. A key theme of the forum was the need for Taiwan’s National Health Insurance program and the private U.S. healthcare sector to work together to identify priorities and implement policies to promote broader access in Taiwan to advanced healthcare treatments.

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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.