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.

 

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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 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

2021 Annual General Meeting Advances Digital, Chamber Transformations

For the first time, AmCham held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) online on November 16. The meeting headline was the resounding approval of the Merger Plan to transform AmCham Taipei into AmCham Taiwan, a process begun almost a year ago at our last AGM. To underscore the significance of the occasion, over 200 participants heard remarks from two special guests: American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Sandra Oudkirk and Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the United States Representative Hsiao Bi-khim. AmCham Chairperson CW Chin, President Andrew Wylegala, and Senior Director of Finance & Administration Jessica Chen summarized the Chamber’s achievements and status, which include the largest financial surplus in a decade, as well as the largest number of members in our 70-year history. Chin announced the founding of AmCham’s newest industry committee covering semiconductors. Finally, an update to the Chamber’s Articles of Association was approved.

 

Remarks by VIP Guest Speakers

In remarks warmly congratulating AmCham Taiwan, Representative Hsiao noted how significant the Chamber’s contributions have been to the U.S.-Taiwan bilateral relationship. Furthermore, its policy recommendations have greatly enhanced Taiwan’s business environment. Hsiao also emphasized Taiwan’s strong desire to achieve a Bilateral Trade Agreement through close collaboration with AmCham.

AIT Director Sandra Oudkirk, in turn, underscored the closeness of the AIT-AmCham relationship, exemplified by the number of Chamber events she has recently joined, or will join in the coming weeks. She then provided a comprehensive overview of leading initiatives and sectors of shared interest, singling out public health and medicine, semiconductors, smart mobility, 5G, and cybersecurity as fields meriting the closest attention through our private-public partnership.

 

Practicing resilience to keep business moving

Taking NGOs and for-profit companies online for governance meetings is new in Taiwan. Like “the making of laws and sausage,” the behind-the-scenes work of producing a first-of-its-kind virtual meeting under strict oversight is best observed at a distance, if at all. The determined staff of AmCham Taiwan had to overcome innumerable challenges, which included a rare internet outage at our building a mere 15 hours before meeting’s initiation, and the challenge of ensuring voting procedures worked for users joining via desktops, tablets, and mobile devices. Identifying and documenting voting participants and achieving our mandated quorum were challenges, but ones that, pulling together, we surmounted.

 

With a lot of help from our friends  

AmCham could never have navigated the complexities of still-evolving regulator guidelines without the extensive pro bono support of law firm member Winkler Partners. We are also grateful to Cisco for providing us with a robust platform for the webinar, Deloitte for auditing our balloting, Grant Thornton for providing financial advice, and Baker McKenzie for a hand with revising our Articles of Association.

 

Election Results

This year’s AGM was separated from voting for the 2022 Board of Governors and Supervisors, which was accomplished entirely by mail for the first time. The election results can be viewed here.

The 14 staff members of AmCham Taiwan wish to express gratitude for the support received throughout this year of challenge and change from the current Board. We also congratulate the incoming Board, and the Board candidates, who continue to impress and inspire us with their drive, can-do spirit, and volunteerism.

 

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 Hosts Luncheon with Hsinchu Mayor

Hsinchu City Mayor Lin Chih-chien spoke to members and guests this week at the W Taipei for AmCham Taiwan’s third “Meet the Mayor” luncheon. 

Photo Credit: Hsinchu City Government

Lin began by speaking about his lifetime association with Hsinchu. Born and raised in Hsinchu, the mayor has seldom left the city, except for vacations. He discussed how his lifelong desire to better Hsinchu led him to his current position as mayor. 

Lin conveyed four of Hsinchu’s major characteristics to the audience. The city, he noted, has a high per capita income, the highest birth rate of the island’s other cities, a very educated citizenry, and a very low average age of 39 years old. Consequently, Lin’s government has a very unique approach to governing the city, placing an emphasis on the needs of its young population. 

Photo Credit: Hsinchu City Government

Lin went on to describe the city government’s ongoing priorities. The mayor’s office has been leading the construction of several schools, parks, hospitals, kindergartens, and other public attractions such as zoos. Construction of Hsinchu’s children’s hospital, funded through a BOT (build-operate-transfer) arrangement, will be completed in April 2022. Lin also hopes to create more public areas such as the 竹科X coworking space, and to hold community events such as the Hsinchu Arts Festival.  

Photo Credit: Hsinchu City Government

Moreover, at 300 years, Hsinchu is one of Taiwan’s oldest cities. Mayor Lin hopes to renovate historic buildings in Hsinchu to promote tourism, attract new residents, and elevate the quality of life for the city’s residents. 

Finally, Lin expressed his hope to consolidate Hsinchu City and County, which would make business and administration more efficient, and in so doing, attract more talent and business. 

Photo Credit: Hsinchu City Government

 

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.

Timely News for non-American Citizen Members of AmCham Taiwan Planning U.S. Travel

The Chamber has noted the United States’ “COVID-19 fully-vaccinated mandate” for non-U.S. citizens seeking to enter the United States as non-immigrants.  Per AmCham Taiwan understanding, this is a uniform global policy, so, after November 8, almost no exceptions will be entertained to allow for entry of non-U.S. citizens who are not fully vaccinated with a WHO- or USFDA-approved vaccine. Accordingly, members (or their employees or business partners) in this category may wish to accelerate their planned travel.  AmCham will continue to relay updates as we learn of them.  Official information can be found at:  Frequently Asked Questions on COVID-19 Vaccinations and Testing for International Travel

 

[Updated] AmCham Taiwan Rises to the Pandemic Challenge: Board Election by Mail and Annual General Meeting Online.

  • First-ever return-by-mail ballot for Board of Governors and Supervisors mailed to you 10/7.
  • This year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Nov. 16, 9am, adds in consideration of Merger Plan and updates to Articles of Association.

Dear AmCham Voting Member:

I hope this letter finds you, too, heading back to your office as Taiwan progresses toward a safe, productive exit from the pandemic. (AmCham staff returned to full office attendance on Monday!).   In this busy year-end season we ask you to support your Chamber with two essential member duties: (1) selecting Board leadership and (2) fulfilling our AGM obligations which, this year, include transforming into a larger, more impactful Chamber: AmCham Taiwan.  We need your participation to meet our quorum of voting members and, then, to finalize with your vote the merger that has been underway for a year.

 On our election, we are proud to bring for your consideration a full slate of talented leaders to take our expanding Chamber into its 71st year.  Please carefully review the “Meet the Candidates” document (Attachment #1) as you finalize your choices. To make life simpler in a year complicated by COVID, the Board of Governors decided at its September meeting to implement the 2020 Board Election via a mail-back written ballot. You will find below a graphic showing how to vote. The votes will be tabulated and certified by our certifying body, Deloitte Taiwan  (Thank you for your assistance, valued member, Deloitte!) at the November Board meeting with the election results shared with membership soon thereafter. The ballot, itself, is contained in Attachment #2. After completing it, please send your ballot to Deloitte in the postage-paid envelope that we have provided no later than Nov 8th.

Secondly, we are in the final phase of legally merging our legacy organization, AmCham Taipei, into our new entity, AmCham Taiwan, under Ministry of Interior auspices. To accomplish the merger, we must transfer each membership through a process covered.  The return of that document will serve to communicate acceptance of your resignation from AmCham Taipei, simultaneously transferring your membership to AmCham Taiwan. This process will seamlessly port your account to the new organization, such that you will not encounter any additional liabilities nor lose credits in the transfer.

Our Chamber excels year in and year out through the hard work of committee co-chairs, board members, individual members and pro bono service and in-kind supporters of this Chamber, all on a volunteer basis.  (In fact, some of my staff also feel that they qualify for this “volunteer” category, as well…).  This is an important time to pause and express deep appreciation to two of such countless, generous members:  Winkler Partners has donated scores of hours of painstaking legal work to guide us through this unprecedented NGO re-registration process in Taiwan, while a Board Supervisor and other friends from Baker McKenzie have provided invaluable assistance in strengthening our Articles of Association. Grant Thornton has provided extra services as our consultant on transition finances.  Deep thanks to all four of those organizations from your grateful Chamber!

If you have any questions regarding any of these year-end procedures, please do not hesitate to contact Jessica Chen at [email protected], or me, on 2-2718-8226, ext. 621.

 

Cordially,

Andrew Wylegala

President

Building Momentum for a Taiwan-U.S. BTA

The current unprecedented opportunities for business and technological cooperation between Taiwan and the U.S. was the theme of a Taiwan-U.S. Business Roundtable this morning co-organized by the Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce, Taiwan (CNAIC) and the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan. The event was held at the Palais de Chine Hotel.

In his opening remarks, CNAIC Chairman Por-Fong Lin recalled that a year ago this month the two sponsoring organizations issued a joint statement calling on the American and Taiwan governments to begin negotiations on a bilateral trade agreement (BTA). He noted that subsequent developments have improved the environment for taking that step and increased its importance.

Echoing that sentiment, AmCham Chairman CW Chin referred to the current situation as a “special moment in the relationship” between the two countries. The challenges presented by the COVID pandemic only brought them closer together, with Taiwan donating some 10 million surgical masks to the U.S. and the U.S. helping to provide Taiwan with much needed vaccines.

Another positive development – recent revival of the bilateral TIFA process for trade and investment negotiations after a five-year hiatus – was cited by Jen-Ni Yang, Deputy Trade Representative of Taiwan’s Office of Trade Negotiations. Bureau of Foreign Trade Director General Cynthia Kiang stressed the increasingly close cooperation between Taiwan and the U.S. in helping maintain strong and stable supply chains.

A keynote speech by Professor Philip Yang of National Taiwan University, a former Deputy Secretary General of Taiwan’s National Security Council, discussed other favorable trends, including signs that as part of its Indo-Pacific strategy the U.S. is paying greater attention to Taiwan’s strategic value. At the same time, he noted pressures arising from the growing U.S.-China economic competition, especially in the technology sphere.

In a roundtable discussion moderated by Regent Taipei Executive Chairman Steven Pan, business executives from both domestic and multinational companies contributed their expertise regarding the industries regarded as having the greatest potential for collaboration between U.S. and Taiwan companies – semiconductors and other ICT/5G-related products, medical technology and other healthcare items, electric vehicles (EV), and the energy and chemical sectors.

Pan summarized the panel’s key recommendations as follows:

  • The Taiwan and U.S. governments should regularly coordinate regarding industrial policy and promote strategic public-private partnerships on critical supply chains for the ICT 5G, medical technology, and EV sectors.
  • U.S. companies should leverage Taiwan’s sophisticated manufacturing platform to create a regional technology hub for Asia.
  • Taiwan and the U.S. should take advantage of the Taiwanese talent pool in both Taiwan and the U.S. in support of a manufacturing renaissance.

The semiconductor field is considered particularly promising for U.S.-Taiwan cooperation because of the complementary nature of the industries on the two sides, said John Chen, Senior Director of the Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC) of the Institute for Information Industry. Taiwan is strong in the foundry and packing/testing segments, while the U.S. historically dominates the design and marketing functions.

A session moderated by Peter Huang, Secretary General of the Importers and Exporters Association of Taipei, featured a special presentation by AmCham Taiwan President Andrew Wylegala introducing the concept of a Taiwan Commercial Initiative (TCI). The Initiative would seek to promote a series of concrete steps that hopefully would lead to a BTA.

A corollary initiative was set out by former AmCham Chairman and President Leo Seewald, who advocated conclusion of a bilateral tax agreement between Taiwan and the U.S. to increase certainty for business, boost investment, and reduce tax disputes.

Closing remarks by the two business organizations emphasized their commitment to continue working together to achieve the goal of upgrading bilateral economic relations through a BTA.

持續推動美台雙邊貿易協定

適逢臺美商業與科技領域合作前所未有的時機點,中華民國工商協進會與臺灣美國商會於臺北君品酒店舉辦「臺美企業圓桌論壇」,探討如何持續強化臺美間的經貿關係。

工商協進會林伯豐理事長於開幕致詞時說,想起去年此時,兩個單位發表共同聲明,呼籲美國和台灣政府開始就雙邊貿易協定(BTA)進行談判。他指出,發出聲明後,臺美關係朝著更好的方向發展,顯示聯合聲明的重要性。

呼應林理事長的談話,美國商會金奇偉會長表示,目前臺美關係正處在一個特殊的時刻。在COVID-19疫情中,臺灣多次捐助醫療口罩至美國,美國也提供疫苗支援,疫情反而促使兩國互動更為緊密。

行政院貿易談判辦公室副總談判代表楊珍妮表示,暫停五年的美國台灣貿易暨投資架構協定(TIFA)於日前重起談判,也代表臺美關係的一項正面發展。國貿局江文若局長強調,逐漸緊密的臺美合作關係,有助於維持供應練的穩定與韌性。

國家安全委員會前副秘書長、台灣大學教授楊永明在專題演講中提到,美國更加重視台灣在印太架構下的戰略價值,以及美中經濟競爭下,科技與技術領域帶給臺灣的壓力,等值得關注的雙邊關係正向發展趨勢。

由晶華酒店集團潘思亮董事長主持的圓桌討論中,來自國內和跨國公司的高階經理人交流,發表他們認為美臺合作下最有發展潛能領域的看法,像是半導體、資通訊、5G、醫療科技、電動車、能源與化學等產業。

潘思亮董事長總結會議的三大重點:

  • 台灣與美國政府應定期合作,針對資通訊、5G、醫療科技及電動車等關鍵產業,商討政策,並促進公私部門策略聯盟。
  • 美國企業應善用台灣成熟的製造產業,作為亞洲地區的科技中心。
  • 台灣與美國雙邊應善用台灣人才,以活化製造產業。

資訊工業策進會陳子昂資深總監表示,基於臺美雙邊產業的互補性,半導體為最有合作潛力的領域。臺灣擅長代工、包裝與測試,美國在設計與市場開發上則具有長期優勢。

臺北市進出口公會秘書長黃文榮在論壇中指出,希望以簽訂臺美雙邊貿易協定為目標,持續推動臺美企業交流與合作。美國商會執行長魏立安則在簡報中介紹商會於今年提出的臺灣商業計畫,希望跨大公私部門合作並透過具體步驟促成臺美雙邊貿易協定。

美國商會前會長李豪指出,洽簽臺美租稅協定將有助於建立更友善的商業環境,降低經營的不確定性、提升投資與減少稅務爭議。

工商協進會與美國商會在閉幕致詞時表示,未來雙方將持續合作,共同努力促成臺美雙邊貿易協定。

AmCham Taiwan Hosts 2021 White Paper Press Conference

AmCham Taiwan held a virtual press conference on June 23 to announce the release of its 2021 Taiwan White Paper. The online event was hosted by AmCham Chairperson CW Chin and the Chamber’s new president, Andrew Wylegala, and was joined by around 30 members of the local and international media, as well as several government officials and Chamber members.

Chin opened the event by highlighting the importance of the White Paper and its 25-year history as an advocacy document representing the interests of the Taiwan business community, as well as a platform for the Chamber to articulate its vision for U.S.-Taiwan bilateral economic relations. Chin then introduced AmCham Taiwan’s new President, Andrew Wylegala, a veteran U.S. foreign service officer in the Department of Commerce.

In his remarks, Wylegala touched on key elements of this year’s White Paper, such as AmCham Taiwan’s multi-track advocacy strategy and the newly launched Taiwan Commercial Initiative (TCI), featured in the publication’s Messages to Washington section. In addition to restarting the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Talks, the TCI urges the U.S. government to continue and expand the Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue, launch public-private partnerships involving industry and government agencies on both sides, and include Taiwan in plurilateral talks between the U.S. and other regional partners. It culminates in negotiations for a U.S.-Taiwan Bilateral Trade Agreement.

See the full 2021 Taiwan White Paper presentation:

Chin concluded by stressing the need for Taiwan to adapt to the evolving world economy by accelerating digital transformation, increasing bilingualism, and addressing energy concerns. In addition, Chairperson Chin also highlighted that nearly 40% of the 2020 White Paper issues have been resolved or achieved significant progress – a new record for the publication.

During the media Q&A session, Wylegala emphasized that the Chamber will continue to support its member companies with resources and advocacy services should Taiwan extend the current Level 3 restrictions. Chin added that AmCham will strive to represent the interests of foreign-owned small and medium-sized businesses in Taiwan through its annual White Paper and other channels.

Regarding the much-anticipated TIFA talks, set to take place shortly, Wylegala said that he expects good progress as previous major trade impediments, such as Taiwan’s ban on the import of certain U.S. meat products, have now been cleared and new challenges, such as supply chain resilience, are being discussed.

AmCham Bids Farewell to AIT Director Brent Christensen

Although the ongoing Level 3 pandemic restrictions prevented an in-person meeting, AmCham Taiwan leadership and AIT were able to connect virtually this week for their regular quarterly meeting. It was a somewhat bittersweet gathering as AIT Director Brent Christensen, whose tenure has seen many positive developments in U.S.-Taiwan relations and who has forged a particularly strong connection between AIT and AmCham, will soon be leaving his post. The meeting was thus an opportunity for everyone to say goodbye to the director and express their gratitude for his admirable stewardship over the past few years.

Nevertheless, the mood was celebratory as Board members recalled positive interactions with Director Christensen and asked him thought-provoking questions about rapidly warming U.S.-Taiwan economic ties, as well as opportunities for Taiwan to enhance its international presence. The group discussed the exciting announcement last week that the U.S. and Taiwan will soon be resuming Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) talks, as well as the promised donation to Taiwan of 750,000 vaccines from the U.S.’ surplus supply.

AmCham Taiwan thanks Director Christensen for his years of service at AIT and his efforts in highlighting the critical role Taiwan plays in the world economy, as well as its importance to U.S. economic interests in the region. As he has repeatedly stated in recent years, the relationship between the U.S. and Taiwan is one of “real friends, real progress.” AmCham looks forward to working closely with his successor to continue enhancing that relationship and ensuring that Taiwan remains a great destination for investing and doing business.