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.