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2018 AmCham Doorknock – June 18-22

The Chamber’s annual “Doorknock” visit to Washington DC this year took place between June 18 and 22. The group held a total of 45 meetings, including calls on the State Department, Commerce Department, National Security Council, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, dozens of Congressional offices, and leading think tanks. The delegation, which was led by AmCham President William Foreman and Vice Chairman Leo Seewald, was also invited for tea by Taiwan’s representative in Washington, Stanley Kao, at the Twin Oaks estate owned by Taiwan.

Delegation members visit the State Department.

The Doorknock group with Commerce Department officials.

A central purpose of the Doorknock was to remind contacts in Washington of “why Taiwan matters,” including its rank as the United States’ 11th largest trading partner, integral role in the supply chain of major American technology companies, vibrant democracy, and sharing of basic American values. The delegation also urged the U.S. government to schedule regular consultations with Taiwan under the bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) umbrella, explore entering into negotiations for a bilateral trade agreement, and send more high-level American officials on visits to Taiwan. In both executive and legislative branch offices, the group heard expressions of desire to deepen the economic relationship between the United States and Taiwan, especially if existing trade differences surrounding the export of U.S. meat products could be resolved.

The delegation was received at the U.S. Trade Representative.

Delegation members with Congressman Gregg Harper (R-MS).

Besides Foreman and Seewald, other members of the delegation included Wendy Lin, General Manager of Johnson & Johnson Taiwan and a co-chair of AmCham’s Pharmaceutical Committee; Petra Jumpers, General Manager of Eli Lilly and Co. (Taiwan) and another Pharmaceutical Committee co-chair; Christine Kuan, External Affairs & Market Access Director at Bristol-Myers Squibb (Taiwan), representing the Public Health Committee; Natasha Lai, Senior New Product Planning & Government Affairs Manager for Eli Lilly (Taiwan); T.K. Lo, Technical & Regulatory Manager at Amway Taiwan; Lynn Cinelli, Director of Emerging Markets Public Policy for Merck Sharp & Dohme; Nathan Kaiser of the law firm Eiger; Don Shapiro, AmCham Senior Director and Editor-in-Chief of Taiwan Business TOPICS; and Any Chang, AmCham Senior Director for Government and Public Affairs.

For many meetings they were joined by the Washington-based representatives of AmCham member companies or cooperative organizations, including AdvaMed, Amway, Bechtel, Cigna, Herbalife, Medtronic, Microsoft, Prudential, and Versum Materials.

While traversing the halls of Congress, the AmCham Doorknockers met a large delegation of Taiwanese-American businesspeople from the World Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce who were on a similar mission.

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.

2018 AmCham Taipei Business Climate Survey

Most member companies of the Chamber are optimistic about Taiwan’s economy and their own profitability over the next three years, but business leaders have serious concerns about energy, the labor law and the way regulations are made. Those were the major findings of the 2018 Business Climate Survey, conducted for AmCham by PwC Taiwan. The results were released at a news conference, followed by a membership luncheon, on March 7.

Download the full Business Climate Survey report, click here.

The survey showed that AmCham companies have deep roots in Taiwan, with two-thirds of the respondents working for firms that have been operating here for more than two decades, said Albert Chang, chairman of AmCham.

Live video of the news conference:

Some of the key positive responses from AmCham member companies included:

  • 55% are confident about Taiwan’s economic outlook this year, and 50% are confident about the three-year outlook.
  • 81% expressed optimism about revenue growth this year, and 79% were optimistic about the three-year outlook.
  • Nearly 40% intended to increase their employee headcount this year.

2018 Business Climate Survey – top executives’ views on the growth of the #Taiwan #economy and their own companies.

A majority regard the “5+2 Innovative Industries” and “Forward-looking Infrastructure” plans as likely to benefit Taiwan’s economic development. Nearly half of respondents view the initiatives as “likely to impact” their companies’ decisions on future business expansion in Taiwan.

Some key areas of concern included:

  • Nearly 50% said the labor law isn’t flexible enough.
  • 84% were concerned about the future sufficiency of the power supply.
  • 58% were dissatisfied with the degree of policymakers’ attention to business needs.

2018 Business Climate Survey – an in-depth look at the level of concern for Taiwan’s power supply and energy-related issues.

Respondents were also critical of the U.S. withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. They were concerned Washington’s foreign policy and trade-related initiatives are putting American companies at a competitive disadvantage in the Asia-Pacific.

The results of the online survey, which had a 51.3% response rate, were based on responses from 198 members polled this year between Jan. 10 and Feb. 23.

Download the full Business Climate Survey report, click here.

2017 Annual General Meeting

AmCham Taipei held its Annual General Meeting on November 21 at the Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel. Members and guests gathered to vote for the upcoming year’s Board of Governors and changes to the Chamber’s Articles of Association. More than 160 AmCham Taipei members and guests attended the event, including chief executives and senior management-level officers from various industries.

Opening the session were remarks by AmCham Taipei Chairman, Albert Chang, who thanked the Chamber’s current Board for their services and introduced the board candidates for 2018.

Director Kin W. Moy of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) also spoke, expressing his appreciation for the partnership with AmCham on policy issues, regulatory matters, and programs that support bilateral economic relations between Taiwan and the United States. Before introducing Vice President Chen, Director Moy touted the expansion of the United States’ Global Entry program to residents of Taiwan and noted the simultaneous opening of Taiwan’s e-Gate program to U.S. passport holders.

Remarks by Vice President Chen

This year, AmCham Taipei was honored to have Dr. Chen Chien-Jen, Vice President of the Republic of China, as our special guest speaker. Vice President Chen expressed his thanks for the Chamber’s efforts as both an advisor and facilitator in strengthening business ties between Taiwan and the United States. He also said that the “Chamber’s annual Doorknock Trip to Washington is an invaluable communication channel between Taiwan and the U.S.”

Vice President Chen stressed Taiwan’s integration into the global economy and highlighted government policies that could benefit both Taiwan and the U.S:

  • 5+2 Innovative Industries & New Southbound Policy to promote domestic and regional prosperity through the Asia-Pacific. The 5+2 Innovative Industries initiative focuses on green energy, biomedicine, smart machinery, national defense, and an Asian Silicon Valley, as well as new agriculture and the circular economy. At the same time, the New Southbound Policy will benefit businesses in Taiwan and provide opportunities to develop new markets.
  • Taiwan-US bilateral trade agreement to enhance partnerships and foreign relations efforts by reducing trade barriers and facilitating more investment, while creating more job opportunities.

Year in Review

Albert Chang summarized the Chamber’s achievements and progress on resolving key issues over the past year. View the full presentation below.

Election Results

AmCham Taipei conveys our sincere thanks to all of our voting members who attended and offered their support. With your help, we reached a quorum and held a successful election.

The Board structure page on our site will be updated in January to reflect the status of incoming and outgoing Board members. A brief summary of results follows – you may download the complete announcement by clicking here.

2018-2019 Governors (Name, Company)

  • Anita Chen, Google Taiwan
  • Chyi-Woei Chin, Micron Tech Asia Pacific Taiwan
  • Edward Shober, Versum Materials Taiwan Co., Ltd.
  • Joanne Tsai, FOX NETWORKS GROUP
  • Daniel Tseng, Corning Display Technologies Taiwan
  • Fupei Wang, Ogilvy Public Relations

2018 Supervisors (Name, Company) 

  • Petra Jumpers, Eli Lilly and Company (Taiwan), Inc.
  • Joyce Lee, Bristol-Myers Squibb (Taiwan) Ltd.
  • Timothy John Shields, Cigna Taiwan Life Assurance Company Ltd.

Congratulations to the winning candidates, and heartfelt thanks to all who supported the Chamber by participating in the election.

Chairman Albert Chang presents a gift to express the Chamber’s appreciation to President Andrea Wu.

Tribute to Outgoing President Andrea Wu

The Annual General Meeting was also an opportunity for the Chamber to present a gift and express its appreciation to Andrea Wu, who will be stepping down as president on December 31 after more than nine years in the position to devote time to family and travel. A video was shown of Andrea’s participation in AmCham events over the years, and Albert Chang praised her achievements on behalf of the Board and the membership as a whole. In brief remarks, Andrea expressed her gratitude to the Board for its support over the years and thanked the dedicated office team for their contributions.

Chang also announced that the search committee had already selected a highly qualified successor as president, who is expected to take office in January.

“Chicago”: The 2017 American Ball

The 2017 edition of the always much-anticipated American Ball, co-organized by AmCham Taipei and the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), took place October 28 in the beautiful Grand Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt Taipei. Guests enjoyed the room’s dazzling Chicago-themed décor provided by the Feng Ze Design Center, crowd-pleasing entertainment routines devised by the VMJ dance group, and the choice of music by energetic vocalist Dooley and his band, as well as DJ Rick Kraft.

The Master of Ceremonies was Mark Lewis, taking a break from his day job at the AIT Commercial Section. AmCham Chairman Albert Chang and President Andrea Wu, accompanied by AIT Director Kin Moy and Deputy Director Rob Forden, greeted the attendees on behalf of the host organizations.

View the full photo gallery here.

Before the reception, guests were greeted with a lively cocktail reception drink of Robert Mondavi Winery’s Woodbridge Sparkling Brut courtesy of Sergio Valente Inc. The gourmet five-course meal that followed featured smoked salmon tartare, lentil soup with papadum chip and sour cream, Tarocco Orange sorbet, roasted U.S. beef tenderloin with polenta cake and crispy carrot, and for dessert a Red “C” chocolate-origin mousse with raspberry sorbet and sea salt sable. The dinner was accompanied by Robert Mondavi Winery Woodbridge Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay (from Sergio Valente) and Johnnie Walker Double Black (from Diageo). Cocktails and Guinness stout were available at the bar.

The event was made possible by the generosity of a number of sponsoring companies. These included Grand Prize Sponsors United Airlines and Grand Hyatt; Wine & Liquor Sponsors Diageo and Sergio Valente; Gold Sponsors HSBC, Grand Hyatt Taipei, and Versum Materials; Décor Sponsor Standard Chartered Bank; Silver Sponsors Bristol-Myers Squibb, BlackRock, Corning, and Prospect Hospitality Co. Ltd. (McDonald’s Restaurants); and General Sponsor The Tobacco Institute of the Republic of China (TIROC).

Substantial raffle prizes added to the excitement of the evening. This year’s grand prize, an “Ultimate Dream Vacation” package, included two round-trip Taipei to Chicago business-class tickets by United Airlines, plus a three-night stay at the Park Hyatt Chicago. Other gift sponsors were 3M, eslite hotel, Ever Rich, Grand Hyatt, Hotel Eclat Taipei, Howard Plaza, The Landis Taipei, Mandarin Oriental Taipei, Mellow Fields Taipei, Palais de Chine, The Place Tainan, Procter & Gamble, Regent Taipei, Shangri-La’s Far Eastern Plaza Hotel, The Sherwood Taipei, Westin Taipei, The 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.

AmCham Taipei Marks 66th Anniversary

With a gala reception attended by nearly 100 members and guests, the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei on September 14 celebrated the 66th anniversary of its establishment. The event was held at The Penthouse located on the 16th floor of the Eslite Hotel, where attendees enjoyed a light buffet dinner and spectacular night views of Taipei City.

The event was sponsored by Abbott Laboratories Services Corp., Taiwan Branch.

2017 Anniversary Cocktail – AmCham Taipei Acting Chairman Dan Silver, President Andrea Wu, AIT Directory Kin Moy

In brief remarks, AmCham Taipei Acting Chairman Dan Silver highlighted some of the Chamber’s key achievements over the past year, including this year’s June 26-30 Doorknock trip to Washington, D.C. to better understand the current thinking in the American capital about U.S.-Taiwan relations.

He also mentioned that this year the annual Taiwan White Paper received wide media and government attention, especially when it became known that no issues from the 2016 White Paper had yet been completely resolved. In response, the Taiwan government set up quarterly review meetings with AmCham Taipei over the coming year, to monitor progress on the issues and help ensure better results in the current advocacy cycle.

2017 Anniversary Cocktail – AmCham Taipei Acting Chairman, Dan Silver

Silver also reported that the utilization of the AmCham Taipei Lincoln Room, the multifunctional meeting space on the 6th floor of the Chamber’s office building, has been growing at a very encouraging rate and has increased its revenue by 60% from last year. The Lincoln Room has served more than 60 Chamber events this year, including press conferences, government visits, luncheons, workshops, seminars, happy hours, and marketplace sessions, and it is also available for rental by member companies and others.

Further, Silver called attention to the efforts to increase the digital presence of the main AmCham website and Taiwan Business TOPICS Online, as the traffic of both websites has grown steadily, doubling compared to a year earlier.

Representing the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), Director Kin Moy expressed appreciation for AmCham’s longstanding, continuous efforts to strengthen bilateral economic relations between Taiwan and the United States. He cited the Chamber’s annual Taiwan White Paper as providing excellent reference for both the Taiwan and U.S. governments regarding the needs of multinational businesses operating in Taiwan.

2017 Anniversary Cocktail – the American Institute in Taiwan Directory Kin Moy

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.

2017 Doorknock Delegation to Washington

AmCham Taipei’s 2017 Doorknock visit to Washington D.C. from June 26 to 30 conducted a total of 45 meetings with U.S. government executive branch agencies (including the State Department, Commerce Department, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative), Congressional offices, think tanks, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Taipei Economic & Cultural Representative office in the U.S. (TECRO), and others interested in the U.S.-Taiwan economic relationship.

Delegation members with U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman, Congressman Ed Royce

The group was led by Chamber Chairman Albert Chang, Vice Chair Dan Silver, and President Andrea Wu, and also included Raghavendra Shenoy, co-chair of the Medical Devices Committee, Board Supervisor, and General Manager of Johnson & Johnson Medical Taiwan Ltd.; Jenny Zheng, co-chair of the Pharmaceutical Committee and Managing Director of Johnson & Johnson Taiwan Ltd.; Emily Chiang of Medtronic (Taiwan) Ltd.; Stephen Y. Tan of K&L Gates; William Vocke of the Foundation for Scholarly Exchange (Fulbright Taiwan); Lynn Cinelli of MSD Taiwan; Don Shapiro, AmCham Taipei Senior Director; and Amy Chang, AmCham Taipei Senior Director for Government & Public Affairs. They were joined for various meetings by the Washington representatives of such member companies as Bechtel, Cigna, Dell, Eli Lilly and Company, Merck, and Microsoft.

Delegation members with Congressman Ted Yoho

AmCham Taipei Chairman Albert Chang with Congressman Ted Yoho

“A lot has changed in Washington since the Trump administration took office, including a new emphasis on targeting U.S. trade deficits with its trading partners, so it was very useful for us to hear from people first-hand about their expectations for the U.S.-Taiwan relationship,” said Andrea Wu. “For the most part, we heard a hard line on outstanding trade issues from the executive agencies, but tempered by widespread expressions of support for Taiwan from members of Congress.”

Team members with U.S. Senator Ron Wyden

A full report on the Doorknock will appear in the August issue of Taiwan Business TOPICS, both the print and online editions.

Launch of the 2017 Taiwan White Paper

With a morning press conference attended by 28 media outlets and a luncheon presentation before 112 Chamber members and guests, AmCham Taipei released its 2017 Taiwan White Paper on June 8. At the luncheon meeting in the Grand Ballroom of the Mandarin Oriental Taipei, AmCham Chairman Albert Chang and President Andrea Wu officially presented a copy of the new White Paper to Minister Chen Tain-jy of the National Development Council (NDC), who received it on behalf of the Taiwan government.

Minister Chen of the NDC accepted the Taiwan White Paper on behalf of the Taiwan government.

AmCham Taipei has published the Taiwan White Paper annually since 1996 to provide the Taiwan government with constructive suggestions on how to strengthen the business climate. This year marks the 20th year since the White Paper was first published in bilingual format in 1997.

Chang’s briefing focused on five major themes related to the performance of President Tsai Ing-wen’s administration during its first year in office:

  • A major advance in regulatory transparency. Chang said the government’s decision last year to extend the notice and comment period for new laws and regulations from 14 to 60 days was “cause for major celebration.” He said that government agencies’ collection of more input from stakeholders should lead to more effective rule-making, especially if it spurs real dialog between the regulators and the regulated.
  • Opportunities for investment. The administration’s ambitious “5+2 Innovative Industries” plan has attracted interest from foreign companies, especially in the fields of the Internet of Things, biomedical, and green energy. But Chang cautioned against allowing the construction of physical facilities to overshadow the need to foster the right innovation-stimulating “software” by cultivating talent, creativity, and culture.
  • A problematic labor law. Recent amendments to the Labor Standards Law are geared to the factory-based circumstances of the “old economy” rather than the service-centered, knowledge-oriented model that must constitute Taiwan’s future. The rigid rules on working hours, overtime, and other working conditions will in fact serve to stifle creativity. Means must be found to incorporate more flexibility into the rules.
  • Continued energy uncertainty. For Taiwan industry, it is crucial to have sufficient, reliable, and cost-competitive electrical power. But many observers are unsure how Taiwan will be able to achieve that objective while also meeting its announced dual goals of eliminating nuclear power and drastically cutting carbon emissions. Industry needs the government to provide a clear roadmap for Taiwan’s future energy development.
  • Bolster trade ties with the United States. Although the future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is now very much in doubt after the U.S. pull-out, Taiwan still needs to find ways to diversify trade and avoid marginalization in the international economic arena. AmCham supports the idea of “free and fair” bilateral trade agreement between Taiwan and the United States. Taiwan after all is America’s 10th largest trading partner, and the two have enjoyed a long and fruitful economic relationship. Although the Trump administration has opposed multilateral agreements, it has left the door open to bilateral pacts, and Taiwan would be a highly suitable negotiating partner as long as it is willing to follow international standards and practices in its trade policies.

In addition to those broad themes, the 2017 Taiwan White Paper includes 83 sector-specific recommendations from 24 AmCham committees or industry groups.

Looking back at the 80 suggestions raised by AmCham committees in the 2016 Taiwan White Paper, the Chamber found that not a single one had been fully resolved in the past year, although eight issues were rated as showing satisfactory progress. Chang said the lack of complete resolution of any issues was reason for concern but not pessimism.

“We hope to work closely with the government to bring about more traction on issues of importance to our member companies,” he said.

To facilitate that progress, AmCham this year identified 12 Priority Issues for Special Attention, selected as having both the potential for high impact and feasibility for relatively early resolution. The Chamber is asking the government to assign a point-person to be responsible for monitoring the progress of all 80 suggestions, but especially the 12 Priority Issues, and to liaise with AmCham at least every quarter to discuss their status.

In remarks delivered after accepting the White Paper, Minister Chen said the government values its longstanding good relationship with AmCham and will take the White Paper recommendations very seriously.

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