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Remarks by AmCham Taipei Chairman, Albert Chang at the AmCham Taipei Banquet, Hsien Nien Fan

The American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei held its 49th annual Hsieh Nien Fan banquet on March 22nd in the Grand Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt Taipei.

Opening the evening were remarks by AmCham Taipei Chairman, Albert Chang, who expressed thanks on behalf of the Chamber to both the Taiwan government and AIT for helping to promote a positive business environment in Taiwan. He stressed the findings of AmCham Taipei’s recent 2017 Business Climate Survey that an already excellent business environment – especially with regard to quality of life and human capital – could easily be further improved through greater regulatory transparency and consistency.

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

Welcome, Good evening! President Tsai, Ministers, AIT Director Moy, AmCham Members, and Distinguished Guests. Let me say a warm welcome to AmCham Taipei’s annual Hsieh Nien Fan!

This is a historic evening. Every year, for the past 49 years, AmCham has gathered together the top leaders from government and international business. And tonight, we have set a new record of nearly 700 people here. To Director Moy and our fellow AIT leaders, we are so happy to have you with us tonight. This is a historic night, because tonight we welcome someone who herself has made history. Madam President, let me say, on behalf of AmCham Taipei, we are so honored to have you with us this evening. And so to you, your Ministers, and the 100-plus government officials here tonight, we offer a warm welcome and a heartfelt thank you.

As we gather here tonight, we have so much to celebrate.

The leaders in this room have personally overseen the creation of thousands-upon-thousands of high-quality high-paying jobs and billions of dollars of investment in Taiwan. Let’s not forget these are not numbers on a piece of paper. The companies in this room have done their part to improve the lives of the average Taiwanese citizen in very real ways.

When we asked our members in our most recent Business Climate Survey about their hiring and investment plans, they told us that they are doubling down here. Half of the companies in our Survey responded that they grew their headcount and investment in Taiwan in 2016. Half of the companies responded that Taiwan is a top 10 global priority for their company.

On quality of life, an overwhelming majority expressed enthusiasm for the quality of Taiwan’s workforce and the outstanding living environment. Some even joked that Taiwan is the only place in the world where the taxi drivers are nicer than the passengers! Even for me personally, when people tell me my Chinese has improved, I tell them I learn everything I know from our taxi drivers! But then when they say my accent is so bad, I guess I know who’s to blame.

On regulations, under Premier Lin Chuan’s leadership, the notice and comment period for new regulations has been extended from 14 days to 60 days, facilitating stronger input on proposed regulatory changes.

We thank President Tsai and the Taiwan government for creating an environment that welcomes the world’s leading companies to plant their flag in Taiwan and encourages them to invest, innovate, and grow here.

But, at the same time, we are not naïve, we all know that there is still much more work to do to unlock the next wave of growth in jobs and investment. If there is one message from our members on the state of the business environment in Taiwan, it is that we need to accelerate the pace of improvement.

And we need to do it in 3 key areas:

  • Number 1: Government regulations – Regulations are the essential glue to a well-functioning, modern economy like Taiwan. But this is one area our members said Taiwan needs to step up. We’re looking for more transparency around the regulatory process; and we need more time and more opportunities to provide meaningful input into the process by which new laws are formulated and approved. This is the single biggest issue for international businesses here year after year.
  • Number 2: Labor law –In today’s digital economy, where whole industries are being disrupted by fast-moving innovators, labor laws need to keep up. Labor laws in Taiwan need to become more relevant, they need to become more actionable, and they need to become more relevant to the day-to-day needs of companies trying to invest, innovate, and grow.
  • And Number 3: Our members are looking for Taiwan to be a source of macro-economic stability in a world that is becoming more uncertain and more fraught with risks than ever before. Stability instills confidence throughout the entire system, and lets business leaders feel assured that their investments will be secure today, and in the future.

To my esteemed colleagues and friends in the room here, I would say this: you’ve all done so much to get Taiwan to the enviable position that it is in today: a thriving, vibrant democracy; a nation of smart, friendly, and hard-working people; and one of the largest trading nations on earth.

At AmCham, we are more optimistic than ever. We have here tonight the public and private sector leaders who will shape the economic future of Taiwan. And while we may not all share the same goals or agendas, what we do share, what does bind us together, is a deep commitment to continued economic growth and prosperity in Taiwan.

Personally, coming back to Taiwan several years ago was a deeply meaningful homecoming for me. I am personally committed to work with the esteemed leaders present in the room here tonight, to ensure that this home that we call Taiwan is a place where we can raise our families, build our businesses, and pursue our dreams in peace and prosperity.

Before I hand over the podium, I’d like to share with you an often-cited African proverb, my favorite proverb in fact, which states, “If you want to go fast, go alone…but if you want to go far, go together.” Tonight, we gather in recognition of the fact that, although there is so much work to do, there is no limit to what we can accomplish, if we do it together.

To President Tsai and Director Moy, we extend our warmest welcome and deepest thanks, and we look forward to years of continued partnership together.  Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming, Mr. Kin Moy, Director of the American Institute in Taiwan.

President Tsai Addresses AmCham Taipei Banquet, Hsieh Nien Fan

The American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei held its 49th annual Hsieh Nien Fan banquet on March 22nd in the Grand Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt Taipei. This year’s attendance was a record high of nearly 700 AmCham Taipei members and guests.

The purpose of the event is to express thanks to Taiwan government officials, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), and other friends of the Chamber for their cooperation and support in the previous year.

Attending for the first time since taking office last May, President Tsai Ing-wen delivered the keynote speech, becoming the fourth president of the Republic of China to do so.  She commended AmCham Taipei, noting that “for 66 years this chamber has served as a vital bridge between Taiwan, the United States, and the business communities of our two countries.” Citing AmCham Taipei’s annual Doorknock delegation to Washington D.C., Tsai said that “without these efforts, the Taiwan-U.S. partnership would not be in the robust health it is in today.”

President Tsai Ing-wen delivered the keynote speech, becoming the fourth president of the Republic of China to do so.

The president said that with a new administration now in office in the United States, “we have entered a new stage of Taiwan-U.S. relations.” She outlined her government’s plans to strengthen that relationship in three areas:

  1. Strategic. Taiwan is supporting peace-keeping efforts in Iraq and Syria by assisting with international mine-removal efforts; in January it also donated a mobile hospital for use in Iraq. In addition, Taiwan will make greater investment in its own defense, to the benefit of peace and stability in the region, and will seek more cooperation with American defense firms as it builds up an indigenous defense industry and procures more military systems from the United States. This initiative, together with programs in aerospace and cybersecurity, will help create thousands of jobs in Taiwan and the U.S., Tsai said.
  2. Trade. The United States is already Taiwan’s second largest trading partner, with trade in goods and services reaching US$85 billion last year. Faced with the Trump administration’s America First policy, however, “Taiwan is prepared to make adjustments” – emphasizing not only free trade but fair trade, the president said. Referring to her background as a trade negotiator, she said “I firmly believe that through communication and negotiation, trade conflicts and other differences can always be resolved.” She stated her hope that Taiwan and the U.S. can “work together toward a new bilateral trade agreement – preferably, of course, FTA-type.”
  3. Investment. Taiwan will send its largest ever delegation to attend the SelectUSA investment summit in Washington this June to actively seek opportunities to invest in the United States. At the same time, Taiwan’s 5+2 innovation program will open new opportunities for cooperation and investment in Taiwan by U.S. companies and for the purchase of American goods.

AmCham Taipei Chairman, Albert Chang, presented President Tsai with the book The Female Lead: Women Who Shape Our World, as a gift to show our gratitude for her participation and support of the event.

Opening the evening were remarks by AmCham Taipei Chairman, Albert Chang, who expressed thanks on behalf of the Chamber to both the Taiwan government and AIT for helping to promote a positive business environment in Taiwan. He stressed the findings of AmCham Taipei’s recent 2017 Business Climate Survey that an already excellent business environment – especially with regard to quality of life and human capital – could easily be further improved through greater regulatory transparency and consistency.

Director Kin W. Moy of the American Institute in Taiwan also spoke, stressing the opportunities for further U.S.-Taiwan economic cooperation through such channels as the ongoing dialogue as part of the TIFA (Trade and Investment Framework Agreement) platform, bilateral Digital Economy Forums, Global Cooperation and Training Framework, International Environmental Partnership, and APEC.

Besides President Tsai, other high-level Taiwan government dignitaries in attendance this year included:

  • National Security Council Deputy Secretary-General Joseph Wu
  • Legislative Yuan Secretary General Jih-Jia Lin
  • Executive Yuan Minister without Portfolio John Chen-Chung
  • Ministry of Interior Minister Jiunn-rong Yeh 
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister David Tawei Lee
  • Ministry of Science and Technology Minister Liang-Gee Chen
  • Ministry of Health and Welfare Minister Shih-Chung Chen 
  • Environmental Protection Administration Minister Ying-Yuan Lee 
  • National Communications Commission Chairperson Nicole,T.I. Chan

The event would not have been possible without the contribution of the following sponsors:

  • Platinum Sponsor: Citibank
  • Gold Sponsors: Corning Display; Franklin Templeton Investments; Standard Chartered Bank
  • Silver Sponsors: 3M, HSBC, JTI, and Micron
  • Bronze Sponsors: Air Products, American Express, Baker & McKenzie, Dun & Bradstreet, K&L Gates, Philip Morris, Qualcomm, and Siemens
  • General Sponsors: Audi, Ford Lio Ho, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Grand Hyatt Taipei, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, and Tobacco Institute of the Republic of China.
  • Wine & Liquor: Diageo Taiwan, Sergio Valente

2017 Business Climate Survey Press Conference

Representatives of some 30 Taiwan media organizations came to AmCham Taipei’s Lincoln Room today for a briefing by Chamber chairman Albert Chang, managing partner in Taiwan for the global consulting firm McKinsey & Co., on the results of AmCham’s 2017 Business Climate Survey. The seventh annual survey was conducted between October and December last year, with 173 top executives of AmCham’s member companies responding.

Chang stressed that the survey respondents view Taiwan as a positive business environment. Most companies made money in 2016 and expect good revenue and profits in the year to come, and they are continuing to invest in this market and add more employment.

Albert_Chang_BCS_2017

Albert Chang, Chamber chairman Albert Chang, managing partner in Taiwan for the global consulting firm McKinsey & Co., presents AmCham’s 2017 Business Climate Survey.

“The problem is that the pace of improvement is not fast enough,” said Chang. He noted that three areas in particular stood out as needing government attention:

1) Government regulations and the rules-making process. Needed is more transparency, consistency, and prior consultation with stakeholders. Chang commended the government of Premier Lin Chuan for recently increasing the notice and comment period for new regulations from 14 to 60 days, and urged government agencies to fully utilize this platform by providing meaningful responses to public comments.

2) The new Labor Law provisions. Chang described the new amendments as a “big headache for many companies” both in terms of increased costs and continued lack of clarity about how to be in compliance.

3) Cross-Strait relations. “Investors value certainty and stability,” Chang observed.

Other points covered by the survey include:

  • Trade agreements. Although the Trump administration has withdrawn the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, new opportunities may arise for strengthening U.S.-Taiwan economic relations through bilateral rather than multilateral channels, possibly including a “free and fair trade agreement” and/or a bilateral investment agreement, said Chang. He said the survey showed strong membership support for bilateral exchanges with the U.S. through the TIFA (Trade and Investment Framework Agreement) process.
  • Tsai administration’s priority objectives. The respondents reported that the five pillar industries that the new government has targeted for development are relevant to their businesses and offer good opportunities for public/private collaboration. Chang called the setting of the policy directions “a good start,” and urged the government to form task forces in each of the five sectors to reach out to the private sector on means of cooperation.
  • Role of the six major municipalities. For the first time, the survey asked members how their businesses are impacted by municipal governments. The results pointed to significant room for improvement in how local governments facilitate business, treat foreign companies, and align their rules with national-level regulations.
  • Personnel. As in past surveys, respondents highly applauded Taiwanese employees’ work ethic and trustworthiness. The main areas of weakness were innovation and creativity.
  • Life in Taiwan. Once again, respondents were enthusiastic about Taiwan as a safe and friendly place to live, with good-quality medical care. Problem areas cited included pedestrian traffic safety and air quality.

Chang noted that Taiwan has lagged behind most other countries in the region in recent years in attracting Foreign Direct Investment. But he said that if the “cloud” of the several key problem areas could be removed, Taiwan should be able to dramatically enhance its investment attractiveness.

To view the full press release, or download the 2017 BCS report, follow the links below:

2017 Business Climate Survey Press Release (English)

2017 Business Climate Survey Press Release (Chinese)

2017 Business Climate Survey Report (PDF) 

2017 Business Climate Survey Press Announcement

This morning, AmCham Taipei presented its 2017 Business Climate Survey report at a press conference held in AmCham Taipei’s Lincoln Room.

AmCham Chairman Albert Chang introduced the Business Climate Survey, highlighting key reasons why this year’s report is more meaningful than those of previous years: Taiwan is at a precipice of uncertainty in the international arena, and now it needs more than ever to pick up the pace in improving regulatory issues and attracting foreign investment.

Live video of the press conference, courtesy of McKinsey Taiwan

For this year’s survey, AmCham Taipei invited 412 voting representatives (usually the top executive) of the Chamber’s member companies to answer a series of questions about the business environment in an online questionnaire. In conducting the survey and analyzing the data, the Chamber was grateful for the professional guidance of Independent Marketing & Research.

Each year, we have intentionally asked our business leaders the same, or nearly the same, set of questions. As a result, we have been able to track the degree of progress – or the lack thereof – across key issues over that period.

amcham-taipei-mckinsey-present-business-climate-survey-2017

AmCham President Andrea Wu and Albert Chang, Managing Partner, McKinsey & Company, co-present the 2017 Business Climate Survey Report to media representatives at the February 20 press conference.

To view the full press release, or download the 2017 BCS report, follow the links below:

2017 Business Climate Survey Press Release (English)

2017 Business Climate Survey Press Release (Chinese)

2017 Business Climate Survey Report (PDF) 

 

Participate on Join.gov.tw to Make Taiwan Better

Recently, the Executive Yuan instructed that all draft regulations of trade, investment, and intellectual property rights laws must be given a 60 day commenting period to allow feedback to be gathered from industry and the public. Furthermore, in order to generate the widest possible coverage, the Executive Yuan has instructed that such draft regulations should not only be announced through existing channels but also on its online portal, “Join,” accessible at ( https://join.gov.tw/ ).

Join, developed by National Development Council (NDC) with assistance from the office of Digital Minister Audrey Tang, facilitates two-way communication between government offices and members of the public on regulatory matters.

AmCham-Leaders-with-Minister-Tang

AmCham leaders paid a visit to Audrey Tang, Taiwan’s Digital Minister, last year to encourage the enhancement of the Government’s web-based regulatory commenting system.

AmCham Taipei is calling  on its member companies, especially those in highly regulated sectors of the economy, to participate in carefully tracking the status of new regulations through join.gov.tw and to work through the Chamber’s industry committees to help prepare well-considered comments for posting on Join.

Through effective use of this platform, Taiwan has an opportunity to boost government efficiency, promote broader participation in public affairs, and create a sounder business environment that may stimulate increased investment leading to stronger economic growth.

For more information, you may also read our Editorial in the latest issue of Taiwan Business TOPICS Magazine here.

AmCham Makes Visits to Cabinet Ministers

An AmCham delegation led by Chairman Dan Silver meets with MOI Minister Yeh and his staff members.

An AmCham delegation led by Chairman Dan Silver meets with MOI Minister Yeh and his staff members.

In recent weeks, an AmCham Taipei delegation led by Chairman Dan Silver has called on two members of the Cabinet to exchange views on pertinent issues.

The first meeting was with Minister of Interior Yeh Jiunn-rong and members of his staff on September 26. The main topic was potential ways of enhancing Taiwan’s Administrative Procedure Act (APA) to increase the degree of transparency and public engagement in the process for making or revising government regulations. A former professor and vice dean at the National Taiwan University School of Law, Yeh has long had a keen interest in seeking ways to improve the rule-making process. The idea of creating an enhanced “Second Generation APA” has also been one of AmCham’s priority themes for the past two years, reflected in the annual Taiwan White Paper.

In the same spirit, the government of Premier Lin Chuan by executive order recently lengthened the time period for notice and comment on new regulations from 14 to 60 days, effective October 1. AmCham expressed its appreciation to Minister Yeh regarding this step, which the Chamber believes will lead to more effective regulations.

Also discussed was the Ministry of Interior’s ongoing efforts to review and modernize the rules governing non-government organizations (NGOs) in Taiwan.

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The second meeting, on October 17, was with newly appointed Minister without Portfolio Audrey Tang, who has been designated as Taiwan’s first digital minister, with the mission of helping to create a more open government. Again, key topics were the expanded notice and comment period – and how to ensure that it is used by the private sector and government officials to optimum effectiveness – and the desirability of upgrading the existing APA.

Another subject was the new website join.gov.tw set up by the government earlier this year to enable members of the public to participate in the making of public policy by presenting and discussing proposals. Under Tang’s guidance, the site will be further refined and expanded in the months ahead.

Besides Dan Silver, other members of the delegation in both instances included AmCham President Andrea Wu, former chairman Paul Cassingham, Senior Director Don Shapiro, and Senior Director for Government and Public Affairs Amy Chang.

Post-Doorknock High-level Meetings

Following the annual AmCham Taipei Doorknock visit to Washington D.C., the Chamber leadership each year holds a round of meetings with high-ranking government officials to brief them on the results of the trip.

On July 27, a Chamber delegation led by Chairman Dan Silver met with Premier Lin Chuan at the Executive Yuan, discussing such issues as prospects for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, regulatory coherence, energy policy, labor-related regulations, and the investment climate. Also in attendance were representatives from the National Development Council, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ministry of Labor.

2016-amcham-post-doorknock-chairman-dan-silver

Similar delegations called on Secretary General Joseph Wu of the National Security Council on August 5 and on Vice Minister Leo Lee, substituting for Minister David Lee, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on August 8.

Additional meetings with other government ministries and relevant organizations are being scheduled

2016 post-doorknock

2016 AmCham Taipei Washington Doorknock

2016 DK Senator John McCain

AmCham Taipei conducted its 2016 Doorknock mission to Washington D.C. from June 20 to 24. Pictured above: Arizona Senator John McCain with AmCham Chairman Dan Silver and other members of the group.

This year’s AmCham Taipei Doorknock delegation, led by Chairman Dan Silver and President Andrea Wu, stressed the importance – for both Taiwan and the U.S. – of Taiwan entering the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) when it expands beyond the original 12 members.

At some points dividing into teams, the group met with representatives from 48 different offices and organizations, calling on members of the U.S. Executive Branch, U.S. Congress, the Taiwan Representative, and others. (See the full list below)

Doorknock Delegation with Congressman Matt Salmon (Arizona-R)

Delegation members with Congressman Matt Salmon (R-Arizona)

Key Takeaways

  • Although free-trade agreements have been the object of much criticism in the U.S. during this election year, the U.S. government remains committed to seeing the pact come into being. Progress is being made toward gaining broader U.S. industry support by resolving points of dissatisfaction that sectors such as pharmaceuticals and financial services have had with the TPP text.
  • A Congressional vote on TPP in a year-end “lame duck” session is a strong possibility, though not a certainty. Otherwise the vote would need to be either early in the next presidential term or after the 2018 mid-term elections.
  • Serious consideration of second-round TPP candidates will need to wait for the agreement’s entry into force. But Taiwan and Korea are being widely mentioned, along with the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, and Colombia.
  • China is already making known its opposition to Taiwan entering into TPP. Taiwan therefore needs to take urgent steps to demonstrate its qualifications – beyond any doubt – by showing firm commitment to international standards and practices. It also needs to work on resolving outstanding major trade issues with all 12 TPP countries.
2016 DK Ambassador Holleyman- USTR (1)

The delegation met with Ambassador Robert Holleyman, the Deputy U.S. Trade Representative

  • Preparations are under way for the annual U.S.-Taiwan TIFA talks to be held in Washington in the second half of the year. The U.S. side emphasizes the importance of making concrete progress on the various issues that will be on the table.
  • AmCham Taipei’s proposal for a second-generation Administrative Procedure Act met with enthusiastic support from many offices. There is appreciation that a single notification platform for proposed regulatory changes, ample time for the public to comment, and a mechanism for government agencies to respond would usher in a much more transparent and effective regulatory regime.
  • The U.S. government has been increasingly engaging with Taiwan in a wide variety of spheres. As the U.S. moves to devote more attention to Asia and the Tsai administration seeks to diversify Taiwan’s trade and investment, there should be more and more opportunities for productive cooperation between Washington and Taipei.
Delegation with Representative Erik Paulsen (Minessota)

Team members with Congressman Erik Paulsen (R-Minnesota)

 

Visits

U.S. Executive Branch

  • National Security Council
  • Department of State
    • Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
    • Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs
  • Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR)
  • Department of Commerce – International Trade Administration
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • American Institute in Taiwan/Washington
2016 DK Asst Secretary Kumar- Commerce

At the Department of Commerce, the group met with Arun Kumar, the Assistant Secretary for Trade Promotion

U.S. Congress

  • Offices of 10 Senators and 15 Representatives
  • House Ways and Means Committee staff
  • Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff
  • Congressional Research Service
2016 DK Senator Grassley

AmCham President Andrea Wu and Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley

Other Organizations

  • AdvaMed
  • Asia Society Policy Institute
  • Brookings Institution
  • Council for Strategic and International Studies
  • DPP Liaison in Washington
  • Emergency Committee for American Trade (ECAT)
  • National Foreign Trade Council
  • Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • PhRMA
  • Samuels International Associate
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • U.S.-Taiwan Business Council
  • U.S. -Taiwan Business Forum
  • U.S. Green Building Council

Taiwan Representative

  • Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office

AmCham Releases 2016 Taiwan White Paper at Annual Luncheon

wp-cover-formatted

Revamping the Taiwan government’s rules-making procedures, preparing a stellar case for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) candidacy, ensuring a stable and reliable supply of energy and water, and boosting Taiwan’s ability to attract and retain talent – these were the main recommendations presented by the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei when launching the 2016 Taiwan White Paper on June 2.

Nearly a hundred AmCham Taipei members and guests gathered at the Regent Taipei for the release of the annual benchmark advocacy document, which provides the Chamber’s recommendations to the Taiwan government on ways to strengthen the Taiwan business climate. This year’s White Paper proposed a total of 80 suggestions from 20 AmCham committee plus three other industry groups.

Accepting the White Paper on behalf of the Taiwan government was Deputy Minister Kung Ming-hsin of the National Development Council (NDC).

AmCham Chairman Dan Silver told the audience that “Taiwan can be a leader across many, many fields and can achieve things that other economies and countries in the region cannot.” But he added that “action is needed” for these positive developments to occur.

Deputy Minister Kung accepted the White Paper on behalf of the Taiwan government.

Deputy Minister Kung accepted the White Paper on behalf of the Taiwan government.

Silver emphasized the government’s need for a more transparent regulatory process, calling attention to Taiwan’s Administrative Procedure Act (APA), a statute that governs the country’s regulation-making procedures. “We are calling on the administrative to look at the APA as an opportunity to step up engagement with the public at the Executive Yuan level,” he stated. Currently, Taiwan’s public-comment period is only seven days, which Silver argued does not allow ample time for feedback. In addition, government agencies normally do not respond to the public comments.

Extending the notification and comment period to 60 days, providing a single website as the platform for feedback to proposed regulations by all government agencies, and requiring the agencies to post their response would create a more transparent process and result in more effective and practical regulations, Silver said. APA reform would also “provide solid evidence of Taiwan’s seriousness about promoting its second-round candidacy for the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” he added.

APA reform would “provide solid evidence of Taiwan’s seriousness about promoting its second-round candidacy for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.” 

The chairman also highlighted the need for the government to ensure a stable energy supply as it tries both to phase out nuclear power and sharply decrease greenhouse gas emissions. In the White Paper, AmCham urges the government to present a detailed, data-driven and realistic plan for meeting future energy demand. Silver also discussed the need for labor regulations that suit the desire by knowledge workers to enjoy flexible working conditions that spur innovation and creativity. 

Chairman Dan Silver presented (?) the WP earlier that day at a press conference

Chairman Silver presented the advocacy document as a press conference earlier that day.

Looking back at the issues raised in the 2015 edition of the White Paper, Silver noted that six issues had been completely resolved, while another eight have shown significant progress. The resolved issues include two each from the Asset Management and Banking Committees, one from Sustainable Development, and one from Technology.

In remarks after accepting the 2016 White Paper, Deputy Minister Kung emphasized the crucial importance for Taiwan’s economic future of gaining membership in the second round of TPP. He also touched on the issues of attracting foreign talent and curbing domestic brain drain, suggesting possible stipends for Taiwanese students to matriculate abroad in exchange for commitments to return to work domestically after graduating.

“Within the first 100 days after Tsai’s inauguration, there is a real opportunity to articulate goals and point the economy in the right direction for improvement.”

He also underscored the new government’s desire to improve public communication and coordination among government agencies. He noted that under the Tsai Ing-wen administration, the NDC will play an even more important role, in that Cabinet ministers will attend Council meetings and develop a consensus on economic policies before they are submitted to the Executive Yuan for final approval.

As the new government has been in office only since May 20, the White Paper comes at an important transitional time for Taiwan. Silver noted that “within the first 100 days after Tsai’s inauguration, there is a real opportunity to articulate goals and point the economy in the right direction for improvement.”

The 2016 Taiwan White Paper can be found online at www.amcham.com.tw/advocacy/white-paper.

AmCham Meets with Control Yuan

control-yuan-building-taiwan

Concerned about the low level of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Taiwan in recent years compared with other countries in the Asia Pacific, the government’s Control Yuan has set up a task force to look into the reasons and propose solutions. The four Control Yuan members making up the task force – Chang Kuei-Mei, Nancy Hsiao-Hung Chen, Lee Yueh-Der, and Liu Te-Hsun – invited representatives from AmCham Taipei and other foreign and domestic business organizations for a discussion of the issue on May 19.

The Control Yuan, one of the five branches of government in the Republic of China, is an investigatory body that monitors the other branches of government. Wikipedia compares it roughly to the Government Accountability Office of the United States, the Court of Auditors of the European Union, a political ombudsman, or a standing commission for administrative inquiry. After completing its study, the task force on FDI plans to submit a report for the reference of the Executive Yuan.

At the May 19 meeting, AmCham Taipei was represented by Senior Director of Government & Public Affairs Amy Chang and Government & Public Affairs Director Katrina Ku. Other organizations that participated in the session were the European Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan, the Chinese National Federation of Industries, and the Taiwan Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association.

The business representatives mentioned the complicated regulatory process and Taiwan’s lack of Free Trade Agreements with major trading partners as factors that tend to retard investment.