New Board Members Elected at 2018 AGM

Five candidates were elected to a two-year term on the Board of Governors, and three to a one-year term as Supervisors, at the AmCham Taipei’s 2018 Annual General Meeting at the Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza hotel on November 20. About 170 AmCham members and guests attended the luncheon meeting.

The newly elected Governors to serve in 2019-2020 are:

  • Al Chang of Deloitte & Touche
  • Albert Chang of McKinsey & Co.
  • Seraphim Ma of Baker & McKenzie
  • Jan-Hendrik Meidinger of the Grand Hyatt Taipei
  • Paulus Mok of Citibank Taiwan

The 2019 Supervisors will be:

  • Vincent Shih of Microsoft Taiwan
  • Terry Tsao of SEMI Taiwan
  • Dylan Tyson of Prudential Life Insurance

The in-line candidates for Governor are Leo Seewald of BlackRock Investment, Petra Jumpers of Eli Lilley & Co., and Joyce Lee of Amgen Taiwan, while Carl Wegner of R3 is the alternate candidate for Supervisor.

At the start of the meeting, AmCham Chairman Albert Chang outlined some of the Chamber’s outstanding achievements during the past year. These included record levels of success in resolving White Paper issues, a revamped Business Climate Survey, and the speech by Deputy U.S. Secretary of State Alex Wong at the Hsieh Nien Fan banquet, generating extensive domestic and international media coverage.

The guest speaker at the luncheon, Director Brent Christensen of the American Institute in Taiwan, called attention to the numerous areas of close cooperation between the United States and Taiwan, including:

  • The Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF), a partnership to demonstrate and share Taiwan’s strengths and expertise with other countries, which has held numerous exchanges and workshops on a wide variety of subjects.
  • The U.S. granting of visa waiver to Taiwan, plus its own Global Entry program, which has enabled the volume of two-way travel to surpass one million people a year.
  • The growing interest by Taiwanese companies in investing in the United States, as shown by Taiwan having the largest single delegation at the SelectUSA summit this year.
  • The U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy, which is opening increased opportunities for cooperation in such areas as infrastructure, energy, and the digital economy, in sync with the Taiwan government’s New Southbound Policy and 5+2 Innovative Industry program.

Christensen also referred to Vice President Mike Pence’s October 4 speech on U.S. China policy which praised Taiwan as a model for democratic development for the Chinese people. The AIT Director cited three areas where Taiwan is well-positioned to demonstrate a leadership role as a responsible member of the international community:

  • Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) protection. Taiwan has made great improvements in this area, and IPR cooperation has now become a hallmark of the bilateral relationship, he said.
  • Regulatory transparency. Whereas Taiwan had a relatively opaque rules-making regime just a few years ago, it has since become a model by adopting a 60-day notice and comment period, enabling stakeholders to participate in the process.
  • Science-based regulation. It should be standard practice to base regulatory decisions on scientific evidence.

View the full photo gallery here.

Bringing Hawaii to Taipei: The 2018 American Ball

“Aloha Hawaii” was the theme of the dazzling 2018 American Ball, co-organized by AmCham Taipei and the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). On the evening of November 3, AmCham members and their guests entered the beautifully decorated (thanks to the Feng Ze Design Center) Grand Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt Taipei and immediately imagined themselves transported to America’s favorite vacation spot.

After a cocktail reception featuring a welcome drink of Robert Mondavi Winery’s Woodbridge Sparkling Brut courtesy of Sergio Valente, Master of Ceremonies Ed Shober opened the festivities. AmCham Chairman Albert Chang and President Bill Foreman, accompanied by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Deputy Director Ray Greene, then greeted the attendees on behalf of the host organizations.

View the full photo gallery here.

Showing its usual creativity, the Grand Hyatt served a gourmet five-course meal that featured a cucumber red quinoa salad with Ahi poke and young corn, pumpkin chowder, cucumber granite passionfruit jelly, roasted U.S. beef tenderloin, and dessert of a chocolate sphere with coconut cream and fresh pineapple. The dinner was accompanied by Robert Mondavi Winery Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay (from Sergio Valente) and Johnnie Walker Double Black (from Diageo). “Blue Hawaii” and other cocktails were available at the bar.

Before and during dinner, the ball-goers enjoyed spirited Hawaii-inspired entertainment routines devised by the VMJ dance group. Once the music started – provided by talented Sherwyne Pereira and his band, as well as DJ Rick Kraft – the dance floor was packed for the rest of the evening with gyrating, enthusiastic revelers.

The event was made possible by the generosity of a number of sponsoring companies. These included Grand Prize Sponsor United Airlines; Wine & Liquor Sponsors Diageo and Sergio Valente; Gold Sponsors Amgen, Grand Hyatt Taipei, HSBC, Taiwan Sotheby’s, and Versum Materials; Décor Sponsor Standard Chartered Bank; Silver Sponsors BlackRock, Corning, Invisalign, and Prospect Hospitality Co. Ltd. (McDonald’s Restaurants); and General Sponsor The Tobacco Institute of the Republic of China (TIROC), with a special thanks to the Primasia Conference & Business Center (PCBC).

Attractive raffle prizes added to the excitement of the evening. The grand prize, by United Airlines, was two round-trip business-class tickets to any destination in the United States. The second prize was four nights’ stay for two at either the Club Med Kani (Maldives) or Club Med Sahoro (Japan). Other gift sponsors were the Grand Hyatt Taipei, eslite hotel, Ever Rich D.F.S. Corp., Hawaii Island Real Estate/Clark Realty Hilo, Hotel Eclat Taipei, Howard Plaza, Landis Taipei, Mandarin Oriental Taipei, Mellow Fields Taipei, Palais de Chine, Procter & Gamble, Regent Taipei, Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel, Sherwood Taipei, Westin Tashee Resort Taoyuan, and W Taipei.

Promoting Taiwan as a Liver Health Center of Excellence

Republic of China Vice President Chen Chien-jen, an epidemiologist with a background in researching hepatitis B, was the keynote speaker at the Taiwan Liver Health Forum sponsored by AmCham Taipei together with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW). The event, held at the Howard-Plaza Hotel on October 3, was attended by 90-some guests from government, the medical community, and industry.

The idea for the forum grew out of a suggestion by AmCham Taipei’s Public Health Committee in the 2018 Taiwan White Paper that Taiwan strive to become the “Liver Health Center of Excellence in Asia.” Participants in the forum confirmed the validity of that goal, citing Taiwan’s pioneering work in past decades in controlling hepatitis B through vaccination and the government’s progress toward eradicating hepatitis C in the coming decade in line with World Health Organization objectives.

Hepatitis is endemic in this part of the world, and is considered a major health risk because it often leads to liver cancer. Among the points made by speakers at the forum were the importance of increasing the amount of screening conducted in Taiwan for hepatitis C. Although the effort would lead to higher healthcare expenditures in the near term, in the long-run it will substantially save costs due to reduced hospitalization and mortality, as well as heightened productivity.

Speakers also called for further expansion of clinical trials in Taiwan, more public education to raise awareness regarding liver health, and workplace programs to encourage more screening.

Opening remarks at the forum were delivered by AIT Director W. Brent Christensen and MOHW Deputy Minister Ho Chi-kung. In his half-hour keynote address, Vice President used a PowerPoint presentation to brief the audience on Taiwan’s past successes in combating liver disease. Other speakers were Dr. Kao Jia-horng, president of the Taiwan Association for the Study of the Liver; Dr. Pwu Raoh-fang, director of the MOHW National Hepatitis C Program Office; Dr. Homie Razavi, managing director of the U.S. Center for Disease Analysis; and Dr. Chiu Chang-fang, vice president of China Medical University Hospital.

Two panel discussions were moderated by Ramanathan Velayutham, Taiwan general manager for AbbVie Biopharmaceutical, and Pang Lai-li, Taiwan managing director for Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), respectively. Aside from the speakers, the panelists included Dr. Lee Po-chang, director-general of the National Health Insurance Administration; and Bristol-Myers Squibb General Manager Sophia Lee. AmCham Taipei President William Foreman gave closing remarks.

Platinum sponsors for the event were Abbvie, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Gilead Sciences. MSD was a silver sponsor.

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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.

Forum Highlights Benefits of Private Equity

AmCham Taipei, along with the U.S.-Taiwan Business Council based in the Washington DC area, provided support for a Sept. 14 forum entitled “Private Equity in Taiwan: A Pathway to Growth.” The event was jointly organized by the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

In recent years Taiwan has attracted very little private equity (PE) investment, following some high-profile cases in which investment applications by PE firms were either rejected or dragged on until the applicant withdrew. The forum appeared to be a welcome indication that the Taiwan authorities are now actively seeking to woo PE investment.

Speeches by three government speakers – MOEA Deputy Minister Kung Ming-hsin, National Development Council Deputy Minister Cheng Cheng-Mount, and Financial Supervisory Commission Vice Chairperson Huang Tien-mu – all stressed the value that PE investment could bring to the Taiwan economy, aiding in industrial upgrading, innovation, and expansion of global markets.

Two panel discussions – one of them moderated by AmCham Vice Chairman Leo Seewald, chairman of BlackRock Taiwan – provided an opportunity for prominent financial-services executives from Taiwan and elsewhere in the region to explore the benefits of PE for Taiwan in some detail. One theme was the large number of successful family-owned enterprises in Taiwan in which the founder-chairman is quite elderly but the younger family members lack the ability or interest to take over. Cooperation with PE investors can offer a solution, enabling the family to continue to benefit financially without having to take responsibility for the management.

A Party for AmCham’s 67th Birthday 

More than 120 AmCham Taipei members and guests turned out on September 20 to help the Chamber celebrate the 67th anniversary of its establishment in 1951. The event was held in the elegant Xifu Hall on the 9th floor of the Grand Mayfull Hotel in Taipei’s fast-growing Dazhi District. Attendees enjoyed an evening of convivial conversation and networking while partaking of sparkling wine and other beverages, as well as a delicious selection of dishes on the buffet line.

The event was jointly sponsored by Crate & Barrel, which offered VIP membership sign-up and a gift bag containing a crystal wine glass, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ InvesTaiwan office responsible for promoting foreign investment.

2018 Anniversary Cocktail – American Institute in Taiwan Deputy Director Raymond Greene

Brief remarks were delivered by American Institute in Taiwan Deputy Director Raymond Greene, AmCham Taipei President Bill Foreman, Amcham Taipei Chairman Albert Chang, and InvesTaiwan Director-general Emile Chang.

On behalf of AIT, Greene extended congratulations to AmCham on its anniversary and expressed appreciation for the Chamber’s unstinting efforts to foster trade and investment between Taiwan and the United States.

Foreman related the pride he has felt since taking office at the beginning of this year in leading an organization whose members contribute so much to Taiwan’s economic prosperity and thereby to its security and social stability.

Albert Chang called attention to some of AmCham Taipei’s signal achievements over the past year, including resolution of a record number of White Paper issues and arranging for Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Alex Wong to speak at the Chamber’s Hsieh Nien Fan banquet.

2018 Anniversary Cocktail – InvesTaiwan Director-general Emile Chang

Emile Chang invited AmCham member companies to avail themselves of the investment-related services of his organization.

Members and friends of the Chamber are reminded to mark their calendars for the next big social event on the AmCham agenda: the 2018 American Ball, “Aloha Hawaii,” November 3 at the Grand Hyatt Taipei.

View the full photo gallery 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 Taipei Honors Departing AIT Director Kin Moy

Chamber members gathered in the ballroom of the Sherwood Taipei on July 3 for a luncheon program bidding farewell to Kin Moy as he prepares to return to Washington at the end of his three-year tour as Director of the American Institute of Taiwan.

AmCham Chairman Albert Chang thanked Moy, the chief American representative in Taiwan in the absence of formal diplomatic relations, for being “an unceasing friend and supporter of the Chamber.” Chang lauded Moy for his stellar accomplishments during his tenure, including:

  • The completion and inauguration of AIT’s new office complex in Neihu, a tangible symbol of the enduring friendship between the U.S. and Taiwan.
  • Expanded economic ties (major Taiwanese investment projects in the U.S., promoting U.S. exports, and large Taiwan delegations to SelectUSA in Washington).
  • The admission last year of Taiwan travelers to the United States’ Global Entry program (only the third U.S. partner in Asia with this honor).
  • Cooperative and training programs in areas like the digital economy, environmental protection, public health, women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship, and humanitarian assistance.

Chang concluded, however, that “what makes Kin Moy so special” is much more than those achievements. Using a number of anecdotes as examples, he cited Moy’s warmth, humor, and accessibility.

AmCham Taipei President William Foreman presents gift to Director Kin Moy of the American Institute of Taiwan.

In his remarks, Moy expressed appreciation to AmCham for its close cooperation with AIT, for providing valuable briefings to visiting dignitaries from the U.S., and for holding impressive events such as the annual Hsieh Nien Fan banquet and American Ball. He noted that AmCham provides AIT with many “great ideas” for furthering the bilateral economic relationship – ideas that AIT relays back to Washington.

Moy referred to the recent dedication ceremony for the new AIT office complex as a “historic occasion,” as it confirms that the “U.S. commitment to Taiwan is about the long term.”

On the morning of the AmCham luncheon, Moy was presented with the Order of the Brilliant Star by President Tsai Ing-wen in recognition of his contribution to U.S.-Taiwan relations.

Moy’s successor as AIT director, William Brent Christensen, is expected to arrive later in the summer. He previously served as AIT’s deputy director from 2012 to 2015. His deputy, who has already taken office, is Raymond Greene, who was previously posted in Taipei as deputy chief of the AIT political section from 2001 to 2005.

Director Kin Moy of the American Institute of Taiwan; AmCham Taipei President William Foreman; AmCham Chairman Albert Chang; and AmCham Board members Joyce Lee, Petra Jumpers, Anita Chen, Vincent Shih, William Farrell, Daniel Tseng, and Joanne Tsai.

AmCham Taipei Launches the 2018 Taiwan White Paper

The 2018 edition of AmCham Taipei’s annual Taiwan White Paper was released on June 6 with a news conference followed by a membership luncheon, both at the Regent Taipei hotel.

The news conference, which generated wide coverage, was attended by representatives from 32 local and international print and broadcast media organizations. Chamber President William Foreman opened the event by explaining the significance of the White Paper. He noted that the purpose is not merely to try to solve problems affecting AmCham member companies, but more importantly to help “Taiwan become more prosperous and more successful.” Since most of those member companies are deeply rooted in Taiwan – many have been operating in Taiwan for decades – Taiwan’s success and their success are intertwined.

AmCham Chairman Albert Chang then provided the journalists with a PowerPoint presentation of the highlights of the 2018 Taiwan White Paper:

  • A record high of 11 committee issues resolved (compared to zero last year), with 21 other issues showing good progress.
  • Unprecedented cooperation from the National Development Council thanks to the personal efforts of Minister Chen Mei-ling.
  • The selection of 13 priority issues for attention in the coming year. These are issues, carried over from last year, that were rated as showing good progress and should require only a bit more effort to finalize.
  • A series of broad-based suggestions on steps Taiwan should take to enhance its attractiveness for foreign investment.

The presentations were repeated at the luncheon, which was attended by some 120 AmCham members and guests. The guest of honor was National Development Council (NDC) Minister Chen Mei-ling, who received the White Paper on behalf of the Taiwan government and expressed her thanks to AmCham for its “valuable suggestions that have made an important contribution to the improvement of Taiwan’s business environment.” In her remarks, she also disclosed recent progress in several areas of concern to AmCham member companies:

  • Working-hour conditions under the Labor Standards Act. Similar to the recommendation in the 2018 Taiwan White Paper, the NDC has suggested to the Ministry of Labor that supervisory and administrative personnel or professionals with a certain salary level be exempt from the current legal restrictions on working hours.
  • Implementation of a member-choice labor pension scheme to allow those with greater risk appetite to seek higher returns. Minister Chen said the government would phase in this approach, starting with the young generation.
  • Providing legal recognition to the chiropractic profession (the longest standing White Paper issue). Chen said the government is adopting an open-minded approach, looking for a win-win solution.

For a fuller discussion of the White Paper contents and Minister Chen’s luncheon remarks, see the Topics Online website.

AmCham Taipei Banquet Provides Forum for State Dept. Official’s Remarks

Speaking at AmCham Taipei’s 50th annual Hsieh Nien Fan banquet at the Grand Hyatt on March 21, Alex Wong, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific, staunchly reaffirmed American government support for Taiwan.

Stating that “the United States has been, is, and always will be Taiwan’s closest friend and partner,” Wong said “the aim of U.S. policy is to ensure that Taiwan’s people can continue along their chosen path, free from coercion.” He told the audience of 700 AmCham members and guests, including President Tsai Ing-wen and more than 100 other Taiwan government officials, that American commitment to the goals of strengthening ties with the Taiwan people and bolstering Taiwan’s ability to defend its democracy “has never been stronger.”

The State Department official also referred to Taiwan’s constitutional democracy as an example for the entire Indo-Pacific region, adding that Taiwan should no longer be “excluded unjustly” from international forums.

“The U.S. commitment to Taiwan doesn’t change from administration to administration or from president to president,” Wong said. “It doesn’t change with the rise or fall of the fortunes of other powers in the region. It doesn’t change with the emergence of new challenges or new threats.”

Wong’s remarks were widely covered by the Taiwanese and international media, including The New York Times.  The full text is posted on the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) website.

In introducing the Deputy Assistant Secretary, AIT Director Kin Moy cited several positive recent developments in Taiwan on issues that AmCham Taipei had advocated – Taiwan’s enhancement of transparency by adopting a 60-day notice and comment period for new laws and regulations, and its bolstering of intellectual property rights by preparing to establish a patent linkage system for pharmaceuticals.

Earlier in the evening, President Tsai continued the tradition of the Taiwan president addressing the Chamber’s annual signature event. She hailed the “positive direction Taiwan-U.S. relations have taken over the past few years,” including President Trump’s signing of the Taiwan Travel Act into law, encouraging more visits back and forth by government officials.

She also praised AmCham Taipei’s work in advancing bilateral relations and improving the investment environment in Taiwan through its Doorknock delegations to Washington, publication of the Taiwan White Paper  and Taiwan Business TOPICS magazine, and conducting its annual Business Climate Surveys.

The evening’s program began with remarks from 2018 AmCham Chairman Albert Chang, a former classmate of Alex Wong’s at Harvard Law School. Chang, the managing partner in Taiwan for McKinsey & Co., noted that favorable results of AmCham Taipei’s recent Business Climate Survey and praised the accomplishments of Taiwan’s past 50 years of economic development. But he also cited the survey’s findings that “60% of our member companies believe we need more policymaker engagement with the private sector in setting regulations” and that “90% believe that in an innovation-based economy, professional and managerial talent should be exempted from the labor law” provisions on working hours.

View the full photo gallery here.

High-level dignitaries in attendance this year included:

  • National Policy Advisor to the President of the President’s Office Mei-Yueh Ho
  • Secretary General of Legislative Yuan Jih-Jia Lin
  • Minister of National Development Council Mei-Ling Chen
  • Secretary-General of National Security Council David Tawei Lee
  • Chairman of Financial Supervisory Commission Wellington L. Koo
  • Minister of Ministry of Transportation and Communications Tan Ho-Chen
  • Minister of Ministry of Science and Technology Liang-Gee Chen
  • Minister of Ministry of Health and Welfare Shih-Chung Chen
  • Minister of Environmental Protection Administration Ying-Yuan Lee
  • Chairperson of National Communications Commission Nicole,T.I. Chan

The evening was made possible by the following sponsors:

  • Platinum Sponsor: Citibank
  • Gold Sponsors: Corning Display Technologies; Franklin Templeton Securities; Standard Chartered Bank
  • Silver Sponsors: 3M Taiwan, HSBC Bank, JT Tobacco International, and Micron Tech Asia Pacific Taiwan
  • Bronze Sponsors: Air Products, AllianceBernstein Investments, Baker & McKenzie, Dun & Bradstreet, K&L Gates, Philip Morris, Qualcomm, Versum Materials
  • General Sponsors: Bristol-Myers Squibb, Grand Hyatt Taipei, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, McKinsey & Company, P & G, SEMI Taiwan, The Tobacco Institute of the ROC
  • Wine & Liquor: Sergio Valente and Diageo

Chairman Albert Chang remarks at AmCham’s 50th Annual Hsieh Nien Fan

The American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei held its 50th annual Hsieh Nien Fan banquet on March 21st in the Grand Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt Taipei.

AmCham Taipei Chairman Albert Chang opened the evening by expressing thanks to Taiwan government officials, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), and other friends of the Chamber for their shared support in strengthening the US-Taiwan partnership.

A transcript of the chairman’s remarks is as follows:

Good evening! Madam President, AIT Director Moy, Deputy Assistant Secretary Wong, and Distinguished Guests, welcome to AmCham Taipei’s 50th Annual Hsieh Nien Fan.

This is a historic night. We have over seven hundred people here tonight – this is more than we have ever had in half a century of history! We are also joined tonight by Alex Wong. Alex is a dear friend.  We met ten years ago when we were together at Harvard Law School, and he is one of the smartest people that I have ever met.  And so when I called him several months ago inviting him to Taiwan, I was really happy that he accepted, because I am so happy to see my old friend again.  Then when I woke up this morning, I saw a hundred articles about his visit here and the Taiwan Travel Act, these Rockstar pictures. You know Alex, please don’t go getting a big head now, the timing is just a coincidence.

But to be sure, Alex is also the most senior State Department official covering Asia that we have ever had joining our Hsieh Nien Fan in fifty years. Isn’t that amazing? But, to be honest Alex, with all the personnel changes on Twitter these days, we weren’t sure if you would actually make it.

We also want to welcome AIT Director Moy. Kin Moy is also someone that has become a true friend of AmCham.  His genuine passion for Taiwan and his sincere outreach to the community have left a legacy that will be remembered for a long time.

You know my friend, I had all these jokes I wanted to tell about you, but as our AmCham team learned from your speech last year, and as they keep reminding me, “Albert, don’t even try, because Kin Moy is just much funnier than you are.”

We also want to welcome the one hundred government officials here tonight. We are honored to have President Tsai Ing-wen, with us as our keynote speaker – thank you for joining us Madam President. We also welcome almost every Minister and senior official from all branches of government.

Last year, we all had a great dinner together…and then a few months later I ruined your day with news that none of the eighty issues in our White Paper had been solved…

But don’t worry, you can enjoy your dinner this evening, because, after a year of work, out of the eighty issues raised, we have now solved……five.

If that’s not progress, I don’t know what is…

It’s OK everyone, we still have a few more months to go. Jia You!

In all seriousness, there is a lot to celebrate. Fifty years ago, per capita GDP was less than US$400, today it is over US$22,000.  Exports were about to exceed US$1 billion dollars a year for the first time ever.  Today, Taiwan exports that much in one day.

Taiwan’s economic story has been a miracle. And it is only because of that miracle that today, our Business Climate Survey shows that over 80% of our member companies say they are confident that their revenues will grow here over the next three years.  Over half say they plan to increase their employment this year.

Citibank’s main site in Taipei is among its busiest in the world; Corning and Micron both maintain their largest international operations in Taiwan. For McKinsey, Microsoft, Google, Cigna, and many others – Taiwan is one of their central hubs in Asia.  Costco’s Taichung store is the company’s global leader in customers and sales – I hear when everyone in Taiwan was rushing to buy toilet paper, Costco was the only place that had any left!  That’s amazing!

But, despite the accomplishments over the last fifty years…we all share this underlying sense…this nagging feeling…almost among all of us…that Taiwan could be so much more. We all imagine a Taiwan in ten years that looks different…where starting salaries are on the rise rather than at the same level as they were three decades ago…where talent flows inward from all corners of the world rather than only outward…where Taiwan is the place for foreign investment, home to ten times more international companies, thought of in the same way as a Hong Kong or a Singapore – as the place in Asia to invest and the place from which to do business in Asia.

But we know that image we have for a future Taiwan is not what Taiwan looks like today. Because the truth is, if Taiwan wants to be at the center of gravity of a 21st century economy, then it needs a 21st century labor and regulatory system. And here, there is more work to do, in 3 areas.

First, on regulations, 60% of our member companies believe we need more policymaker engagement with the private sector in setting regulations. Second, on labor, 90% believe that in an innovation-based economy, professional and managerial talent should be exempted from the labor law. And third, on the White Paper, there is wide consensus that if we just met global standards, putting us on par with Japan or similar developed economies, then we’d solve most of our 80 issues.

What this tells us is that we need deeper partnership between the public and private sectors. And we need to see labor and regulatory breakthroughs that will spur 10x more investment here. In the spirit of that deeper partnership, we are excited to announce that AmCham has proposed to the Administration that we jointly create an Industry Summit Council. This Council’s aim will be to attract more investment to Taiwan under the pillars of 5+2, and to facilitate the breakthroughs in regulatory improvements to make that possible.  We are excited to roll out the details shortly.

I believe we are all here tonight for some reason. Almost 50 years ago, my parents left Taiwan for the US as young students. My dad was a top student here, and when he first arrived to the US, he almost lost his scholarship because he struggled with his English. Fifty years later, as one of four children, I came back here. And I came back because I believe that there is something special about this place. Because I believe Taiwan’s economic miracle is not over.

And I think if we look around this room, that’s a belief we all share. This idea that Taiwan has not yet reached its full potential.  But that it is within reach.  And if we are going to have any chance to get there, we will have to do it together. That is our shared belief, and that is what binds all of us in this room tonight.

To President Tsai, Director Moy, and DAS Wong, let me extend our warmest welcome to you, and invite you to join us in this vision of deeper partnership together. Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming, Her Excellency, President Tsai Ing-wen.

Chairman Albert Chang on BloombergTV’s Daybreak Asia show

American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei Chairman Albert Chang, Managing Partner of McKinsey & Company Taiwan Office, spoke with BloombergTV Daybreak Asia immediately prior to the public release of AmCham’s Business Climate Survey (BCS). The BCS was released at a news conference on March 12 held at AmCham Taipei’s Lincoln Room.

The chairman spoke on a wide variety of subjects, tying issues raised in the BCS to global trade and U.S. policy, including tax reform and import tariffs. Emphasizing the integral role that Taiwan and multinational firms operating here play in global supply chains, Chang highlighted the importance of clear and consistent U.S. policy and openness to global trade to their operations.

Live interview on BloombergTV’s Daybreak Asia show, courtesy of Bloomberg.