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AmCham Committees Connect with USTR

USTR-visit-amcham-taipei

One of AmCham Taipei’s most important functions is to provide a channel for the concerns of member companies to be communicated, through the Chamber’s committees, to the U.S. government.

Throughout the year there are numerous opportunities to interact with the Economic and Commercial Sections of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), and the annual Doorknock visit to Washington is a chance to meet with the key executive-branch agencies and Congressional offices interested in U.S.-Taiwan trade and investment relations.

Another such opportunity arises when the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) send a delegation to Taiwan, which often occurs in the lead-up to the annual bilateral negotiations under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).

Such a delegation was in Taipei for a week toward the end of April, consisting of officers from USTR, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and the AIT Washington office.

AmCham Taipei arranged for a series of meetings at which committee leaders briefed the U.S. government visitors on the latest developments in their sectors. The schedule included meetings covering the following topics:

  • Administrative Procedure Act
  • Agriculture
  • Imports & exports
  • Food safety
  • Retail
  • Intellectual Property & Licensing
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Medical Devices
  • Foreign investment
  • Private Equity

On behalf of the American delegation, Monica He of USTR expressed thanks to AmCham for providing a wide-ranging and thorough explanation of current issues. The 2016 round of the TIFA talks is expected to take place this fall.

AmCham delegation visits Premier-designate Lin Chuan

AmCham-Taipei-visits-premier-lin-chuan

An AmCham Taipei delegation led by Chairman Dan Silver met with Premier-designate Lin Chuan on April 8 to brief him on some issues impacting the business environment in Taiwan. Lin was accompanied by Dr. Shih Jun-Ji, who will serve in the new government as one of the Ministers without Portfolio.

The discussion covered the following issues:

  • Suggested revision of the Administrative Procedure Act to create greater transparency and consultation with stakeholders in the regulation-making process. Examples of recent problems in the retail sector were cited.
  • The need for a more transparent and predictable foreign investment approval process.
  • Ideas for making Taiwan more competitive in attracting and retaining talent. These include creating reviewing the current income tax structure, revising work permit and visa requirements, and allowing for more flexible rules on working hours for white-collar workers.
  • The need to assure a stable and cost-competitive energy supply for Taiwan industry

“We were honored to have the chance to meet with the prospective new Premier even before his taking office. Dr. Lin was already familiar with many of our issues from reading our Taiwan White Paper, but it was an excellent opportunity to offer further explanation. We look forward to frequent and positive interaction with the new government in the months ahead.” — AmCham Taipei President Andrea Wu

Read and download the AmCham Taipei White Paper here. 

The delegation consisted of:

  • AmCham Taipei Chairman Dan Silver, General Manager of Abbott Vascular Hong Kong & Taiwan
  • Andrea Wu, AmCham Taipei President.
  • Daniel Tseng, AmCham Taipei Vice Chairman and President of Corning Display Technologies Taiwan.
  • Paul Cassingham, Former Chairman of AmCham Taipei and Senior Legal Consultant, Eiger.
  • Vincent Shih, AmCham Taipei Governor and General Manager of Corporate, External, and Legal Affairs, Microsoft Taiwan.
  • Wern-Yuen Tan, Managing Director, McDonald’s Restaurants (Taiwan)
  • Don Shapiro, AmCham Taipei Senior Director and Editor-in-Chief, Taiwan Business TOPICS
  • Katrina Ku, AmCham Taipei Director of Government and Public Affairs 

 

48th Annual Hsieh Nien Fan Continues Tradition

AmCham Taipei Hsieh Nien Fan

Continuing a long tradition, the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei held its 48th annual Hsieh Nien Fan banquet on March 30 in the Grand Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt Taipei.

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. Nearly 700 AmCham members and guests attended.

President Ma Ying-jeou was once again the keynote speaker, and AmCham Taipei presented him with a plaque in gratitude for his participation at 15 Hsieh Nien Fan banquets during his tenure both as President and before that as Mayor of Taipei. Another special guest was Kurt Tong, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, who was introduced by American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Kin Moy. The master of ceremonies was attorney Peter Dernbach, a co-chair of AmCham Taipei’s Intellectual Property & Licensing Committee.

Opening the evening were remarks by AmCham Taipei Vice Chairman Margaret Driscoll, standing in for Chairman Dan Silver, who was overseas and unable to attend the event. Driscoll expressed thanks on behalf of the Chamber to both the Taiwan government and AIT for helping to promote a positive business environment in Taiwan.

President Ma Ying-jeou speaks at AmCham Taipei's 48th Annual Hsieh Nien Fan

President Ma’ speech outlined his administration’s accomplishments, including the successful promotion of a “free, just, and prosperous Taiwan, a peaceful Taiwan Strait, and a friendly international environment.” He stressed the urgency of Taiwan’s participation in emerging regional trade groups such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), as well as the importance of maintaining a stable and reliable energy supply.

AIT Director Moy praised AmCham Taipei’s “constructive role” in the U.S.-Taiwan economic relationship and credited President Ma with achieving “something that few thought could be done: simultaneously improving relations with both Washington and Beijing.”

In his remarks, Kurt Tong expressed appreciation for AmCham Taipei’s “constructive, regular outreach to the Taiwan authorities” and for the “efforts of the AmCham Taipei leadership and membership in underscoring how valuable TPP can be to your companies and to the U.S. economic presence in Asia.”

AmCham Taipei Hsieh Nien Fan 2016

High-level dignitaries in attendance this year included:

  • National Security Council Deputy Secretaries-General Andrew Kao and Liu Da-nien
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin
  • Minister of Economic Affairs John Deng
  • Environmental Protection Minister Wei Kuo-yen
  • Minister without Portfolio Chung Char-dir
  • National Development Council Minister Steve Chu-chia Lin

The evening was made possible by 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, Grand Hyatt Taipei, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, Tobacco Institute of the Republic of China, and UBS.
  • Wine & Liquor: Fratello F&B Int. Ltd., Diageo Taiwan