An impressive crowd of close to 550 members, guests, and government officials gathered at the Grand Hyatt Taipei on March 30 to celebrate the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan’s 54th annual Hsieh Nien Fan banquet.
While the Hsieh Nien Fan serves as a way for the Chamber to thank its partners in the Taiwan government for their cooperation and support, the timing of this year’s event presented AmCham with a special opportunity to unveil its brand new logo. The sleek, stylish design was created by National Taiwan University of Arts graduate student John Zheng, a strong demonstration of AmCham’s commitment to supporting the development of next-generation talent in Taiwan.
The evening was also an occasion to debut pre-publication copies of Taiwan Matters for America/America Matters for Taiwan, a concise monograph collaboratively produced by the U.S.-based East-West Center and AmCham. Through data, stories, graphics, and photos, the booklet outlines the important trade, investment, security, people-to-people, and other ties between the U.S. and Taiwan.
As attendees took their seats, AmCham Taiwan Chairperson Vincent Shih gave opening remarks. He commended Taiwan for its exemplary handling of the pandemic, which he noted has “fueled both strong economic growth and positive international recognition” over the past two years. Nevertheless, Shih urged Taiwan’s government to resolve pressing issues related to power supply and grid resilience and to normalize visa issuance. Addressing the U.S. side, he called for movement toward bilateral trade agreement talks with Taiwan, as well as Taiwan’s inclusion in the Biden administration’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.
Upholding a tradition of more than 20 years, President Tsai Ing-wen next provided the evening’s keynote speech, in which she highlighted Taiwan’s achievement of its highest economic growth in 11 years and the ever-improving U.S.-Taiwan trade relationship. She acknowledged that to ensure continued growth and competitiveness, Taiwan’s government plans to increase its efforts in talent cultivation, as well as strengthen the island’s energy infrastructure and information security.
President Tsai also recognized AmCham’s dedication over the past seven decades to advancing Taiwan’s economic development and building its ties with the American and international business communities. “I want to thank AmCham Taiwan for all that you do to make Taiwan better,” she said.
Following President Tsai’s speech, American Institute in Taiwan Director Sandra Oudkirk addressed the banquet. She highlighted U.S.-Taiwan cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, joint efforts to promote global supply chain resilience, and the importance of economic, security, and trade ties between the U.S. and Taiwan. Following her speech, video messages of congratulations from Counselor of the U.S. Department of State Derek Chollet and Counselor to the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Commerce Arun Venkataraman were played.
Besides President Tsai, high-ranking Taiwanese officials in attendance included Secretary-General of the Presidential Office David Lee, Secretary-General of the National Security Council Wellington Koo, Vice Premier Shen Jong-chin, 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 Science and Technology Wu Tsung-tsong, Minister of Finance Su Jain-rong, Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang, Minister of Labor Chen Ming-jen, Chairman of the National Communications Commission Chen Yaw-shyang, and Chairperson of the Taiwan Council for U.S. Affairs Yang Jen-ni. In addition, representatives from Taiwan’s six municipalities attended the event, including Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, New Taipei Mayor Hou Yu-ih, and deputy mayors from Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, and Taichung.