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53rd Annual Hsieh Nien Fan a Smashing Success

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

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

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

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

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

Besides President Tsai and Former Vice President Chen Chien-jen, high-ranking Taiwanese officials in attendance included Secretary-General of the Presidential Office David Lee, Secretary-General of the National Security Council Wellington Koo, Secretary-General of the Executive Yuan Lee Meng-yen, Secretary-General of the Legislative Yuan Lin Chih-chua, Minister without Portfolio John Deng, National Development Council Minister Kung Ming-hsin, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung, Minister of Finance Su Jain-rong, Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang, Deputy Minister of the Interior Chen Tsung-yen, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Lin Minn-tsong, Chairman of the National Communications Commission Chen Yaw-shyang, and Chairperson of the Taiwan Council for U.S. Affairs Yang Jen-ni. For the first time in the Chamber’s history, representatives from Taiwan’s six municipalities attended this event. They included New Taipei Mayor Hou Yu-ih, Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan, and deputy mayors from Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 President Leo Seewald Announces Results of 2021 Business Climate Survey

AmCham Taiwan President Leo Seewald announced the results of the Chamber’s 2021 Business Climate Survey (BCS) on January 21 at a press conference held on the 11th floor of the W Hotel. Around 15 media organizations were represented at the event. Seewald detailed the survey’s findings, which were illustrated in a 16-page report produced by AmCham. He emphasized that survey-takers were all business leaders in Taiwan, with most holding upper management positions at their companies.

The Chamber was excited to disclose that a record percentage of respondents – close to 86% – expressed confidence about the economic prospects for the coming year, 16 percentage points higher than in the 2020 survey. There was also a record high level of optimism regarding the 3-year economic outlook, although it was a slightly lower 78%. Seewald observed that this could indicate businesses’ concern about the future trajectory of the global economy.

2021 Business Climate Survey: AmCham President Leo Seewald presents results

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

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

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

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

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

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.

2020 AGM Election Results

AmCham thanks its members for attending the Annual General Meeting and helping us to meet the quorum. We are pleased to announce the results of the 2020 Annual General Meeting held on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at the Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel. The election results were compiled by Deloitte & Touche. The elected Governors and Supervisors are listed in alphabetical order. Read more about the event here.

2021-2022 Governors (Serving a two-year term, beginning January 1, 2021):

2021 Supervisors (Serving a one-year term, beginning January 1, 2021):

Other Business Items on the Ballot were all approved. 

With the help of the staff at Deloitte & Touche, we were able to successfully compile the election results for this year. Congratulations to the newly elected Governors and Supervisors!

Big Changes and New Directions Mark AmCham’s 2020 AGM

Excitement was in the air at the 2020 AmCham Taipei Annual General Meeting, held at the Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel on November 17. As the Chamber’s signature year-end event, it would serve as the platform for announcing that AmCham Taipei would begin the formal process of becoming the more appropriately named American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan in January 2021. To commemorate this momentous occasion, President Tsai Ing-wen delivered the keynote speech.

Election Results

This year’s AGM drew around 230 members and their guests, and voting for the 2021 Board of Governors and Supervisors took place as members arrived. The six Governors voted in for two-year terms were Justin Chin of AstraZeneca Taiwan, Cynthia Chyn of Amazon Web Services, Paulus Mok of Citibank Taiwan, Terry Tsao of SEMI Taiwan, and Daniel Tseng of Corning Display Technologies Taiwan. They join 2020-2021 Governors CW Chin of Applied Materials Taiwan, Timothy Shields of Cigna Taiwan, Brian Sung of Cadence Design Systems Taiwan, Fupei Wang of Ogilvy Public Relations, Roger Yee of Raytheon Taiwan, and Angela Yu of Microsoft. See the election results details here.

Newly elected for one-year terms as Supervisors were Max Chen of Facebook Taiwan, Shelley Chia of Deloitte and Touche, and Seraphim Ma of Baker McKenzie.

Remarks by VIP Guest Speakers

In brief opening remarks as the luncheon meeting began, American Institute in Taiwan Director W. Brent Christensen emphasized that regardless of the results of the recent U.S. elections, Taiwan continues to enjoy broad, bipartisan support in Washington. He also commended President Tsai for prioritizing transparency and safety in Taiwan, and for creating a “safe, stable environment, which has allowed Taiwan’s businesses to flourish in the face of strong global headwinds that are constraining growth in so many other economies.”

In her keynote speech, President Tsai congratulated the Chamber for successfully moving to change its name to AmCham Taiwan, which she said is “a true reflection of its membership.” She said that she believes the organization will “play a crucial and significant role in the development of Taiwan’s partnerships in the future.” She also spoke of Taiwan’s success in containing COVID-19 and its ability to maintain positive economic growth throughout the pandemic without needing to resort to lockdowns.

Lastly, President Tsai acknowledged the great recent strides made in the U.S.-Taiwan relationship, noting Taiwan’s importance as the U.S.’ ninth largest trading partner and 11th largest export market. She also cited the visit to Taiwan in September by Keith Krach, the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, and the resulting U.S.-Taiwan Economic Partnership Dialogue held between Taiwan officials and the State Department in Washington this month.

Tribute to Don Shapiro’s Retirement

Also of significance at this year’s event was Chairperson CW Chin’s announcement that Don Shapiro, AmCham Taipei Senior Director and Editor-in-Chief of its Taiwan Business TOPICS magazine, would be retiring from his full-time position at the end of the year, while continuing in an advisory capacity. Chin and AmCham President Leo Seewald thanked Shapiro for his invaluable contributions to the Chamber and presented him with a commemorative plaque.

Year in Review

AmCham President Leo Seewald and Chairperson CW Chin also summarized the Chamber’s achievements over the past year. View the full presentation below.

2020 Annual General Meeting from The American Chamber of Commerce in 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.

A Virtual Trip Around the World – at the American Ball

AmCham Taipei’s 2020 American Ball was an evening of glitz and glamor as nearly 300 members and their guests arrived at the Grand Hyatt Taipei dressed in dashing tuxedos and elegant evening gowns. While the COVID-19 pandemic has severely restricted international travel, the theme of this year’s ball – Fly Me to the World – aimed to bring the world to attendees. The event featured a world-class meal, international performances, and dance-worthy sounds from around the globe.

View the full photo gallery here

As guests began to trickle in, they made their way from the photo stand in the hotel’s lobby to the registration area outside the Grand Ballroom on the third floor. There they were treated to an eye-catching display of duty-free products supplied by Ever Rich, including high-value Taiwanese tea sets, as well as other local snacks and assorted goods. Those wishing to further memorialize their attendance at this premier event had the chance to strike a pose at two photo stations upstairs.

2020 American Ball – AmCham x Ever Rich

The evening’s festivities kicked off with a lively dance performance, transporting the audience to France and Spain with traditional songs and beautiful costumes. It was a hard act to follow, but Master of Ceremonies Roger Yee rose to the occasion, eliciting laughs and applause from guests and putting everyone at ease. He was joined onstage by AmCham Taipei Chairperson CW Chin and President Leo Seewald, and the three raised a toast on behalf of the host organizations.

2020 American Ball – Dance Performers

As the night continued, guests were treated to a sumptuous intercontinental meal, whose courses included Spanish-style smoked halibut, pineapple sorbet with coconut crumble for lovers of Hawaii, Netherlands-style roasted U.S. beef tenderloin, and a coffee chocolate bonbon representing Italy. It was the kind of feast that lets you savor the world without ever needing to leave the dinner table. To complement this delicious spread, bottles of Robert Mondavi Winery Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay were provided by drinks sponsor Sergio Valente, while whisky drinkers enjoyed glasses of Johnnie Walker Black Label Sherry Finish from Diageo.

Live music for the American Ball was provided by Sherwyne Pereira and his band MODA, while local DJ Rick Kraft spun a range of contemporary jams and classic tunes, getting people in the dancing spirit. Those who still had room after dinner could take a break from the dancefloor for a late-night snack of pulled pork sandwiches and Spanish churros. Meanwhile, free-flow refreshments were available at the bar throughout the night.

2020 American Ball – Dance Floor

The 2020 American Ball was made possible by the generosity of a number of sponsoring organizations. These included Grand Prize Sponsor Samsung; Wine & Liquor Sponsors Diageo and Sergio Valente; Gold Sponsors Amgen, Grand Hyatt Taipei, and HSBC; Décor Sponsor Merck; and Silver Sponsors Corning, The Rehfeldt Group, and GSK.

The party featured raffle drawings with attractive prizes throughout the night. The grand prize, from Samsung, was a 65” QLED 4K television. Other prize sponsors included the Grand Hyatt Taipei, Amba Taipei Songshan, CÉ LA VI Taipei, eslite hotel, Everrich, Hotel Eclat Taipei, Hotel Indigo Taipei North, Hotel Royal Group, Howard Plaza Hotel Taipei, Madison Taipei, Mandarin Oriental Taipei, Mellow Fields Taipei, Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel, The Landis Taipei, The One, The Place Taipei, Regent Taipei, Sherwood Taipei, Westin Tashee Resort Taoyuan, and W Taipei.

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.

2020 AmCham AGM Voting Procedure
年度會員大會理監事選舉流程

This year’s Annual General Meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 17 at the Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel. This year, we need to achieve a quorum of 101 voting members at the AGM. We highly encourage all members to attend this event.

As a reminder, we would like members to know that the election packets have been sent. If you are the voting member, please make sure you have received the election packet. For information regarding the voting procedure, please check our AGM overview fact sheet.

109年11月17日年度會員大會理監事選舉公報已經寄出,如果您是有投票權之會員,煩請確認您是否已經收到. 關於理監事選舉流程請看下方圖示並參考此連結. 謝謝您!

If you WILL attend the Annual General Meeting:

  • Please sign and send the Attendance Card (BLUE card) to Deloitte & Touche.
  • To cast your vote, please bring your ballot to the Annual General Meeting on November 17.

If you WILL NOT attend the Annual General Meeting, please mail the following to Deloitte & Touche:

  1. Please sign and send the Attendance Card (PINK card).
  2. Please sign and send the PROXY Card (PINK card).
  3. Select your candidates on the ballot to cast your vote.