I’m excited to say that we’re planning to give our voting members a chance to make a little history at our Annual General Meeting in November. That’s when they will be able to decide whether our organization should become the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan.
Why do we want to do this? And why now?
It’s simply because AmCham Taiwan better fits who we are and what we do.
We have members across Taiwan – from Yilan, Taoyuan, and Hsinchu to Yunlin, Taichung, and Kaohsiung. We’re not just an organization serving members in Taipei – though we’re extremely proud of the great city where so many of our members have the honor to live and work!
Having “Taiwan” in our organization’s name also better fits our mission, which is to improve the business environment in Taiwan – making it more open, innovative, and prosperous.
Our advocacy agenda is squarely focused on the central government. We spend most of our time meeting with senior officials with the Ministry of Economic Affairs, National Development Council, Ministry of Health and Human Welfare, Bureau of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Financial Supervisory Commission, and many other parts of the central government.
It’s also important to note that when we go to Washington for our annual CEO Mission, we spend all our time discussing how U.S. policies affect all of Taiwan. Our focus is on Taiwan’s entire economy and trading relationship with America.
So why make the change now? This is a great time to do it as the organization prepares to celebrate its 70th anniversary next year. Aligning the organization’s name with its identity and mission is an excellent way to start our journey into the next seven decades.
Some might wonder how this change will affect the AmChams in Taichung and Kaohsiung. It shouldn’t have any impact. Those two fine organizations are autonomous from us. Our relationship with them has always been complementary, not competitive. They are perfectly positioned to continue providing their unique value proposition to their members.
I wish I could say that applying to create AmCham Taiwan is as simple as filling out a form and getting it chopped a few days later. Alas, it’s a complex process that could take months. Thankfully, Winkler Partners has generously offered to help us with the process on a pro bono basis. I’m extremely grateful for the assistance.
I believe this is the right move to make, and I hope the membership will support it when we put it to a vote in November.
I tried to cover the most obvious questions with this column, but I’m sure some members will have additional questions. As always, I welcome all queries and encourage people to write to me at: [email protected]