A record 800 members, guests, and central and local government officials gathered at the Taipei Marriott Hotel on April 19 to celebrate the American Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan’s 55th annual Hsieh Nien Fan banquet.
The Hsieh Nien Fan serves as a way for the Chamber to thank its partners in the Taiwan government for their cooperation and support. It also demonstrates the Chamber’s influence, vitality, and commitment to the U.S.-Taiwan economic and trade relationship. A key message that echoed across the evening’s four speeches was that solidarity brings strength.
AmCham Taiwan Chairperson Vincent Shih delivered the opening remarks, urging Taiwan to take full advantage of the current “golden opportunity” represented by the U.S.-Taiwan 21st-Century Initiative negotiations that got underway last year on standards such as “good regulatory practice.” He encouraged Taiwan to “continue to innovate and expand its industries,” noting that “Taiwan must accelerate the speed of regulatory reform and create an open, investment-friendly, and agile business environment that puts it on the world map.”
Upholding a two-decades-long tradition, President Tsai Ing-wen provided the evening’s keynote remarks. She highlighted Taiwan’s position as the U.S.’ eighth-largest trading partner and its ranking as the fourth-freest economy in the world. Tsai also reiterated her government’s commitment to improving the business environment through “concrete actions and plans.” She specifically mentioned Taiwan’s energy transition, reporting that Taiwan “is now back on track to fulfill the goal of producing 20GW from solar power and 5.6GW from offshore wind by 2025.”
Tsai also thanked AmCham for its “staunch support” of a free trade agreement with the U.S., which she said her government hopes to explore once the 21st–Century talks have concluded. “Taiwan will not waver in our commitment to improving and maintaining the robust business environment,” the President said. “Despite the challenges from China, we have been and will continue to be cautious in our management of cross-Strait relations. We will not be the provocateur, and we will work with our democratic partners to support peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific and across the Taiwan Strait.”
Following President Tsai’s speech, newly appointed American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chair Laura Rosenberger emphasized the warm links between the U.S. and Taiwan, stressing Taiwan’s role in the global economy and as a force for good. She said the U.S. would continue to “promote Taiwan’s meaningful participation in international organizations and multi-stakeholder forums.” Rosenberger commended AmCham’s White Paper, which she described as “an essential tool for policymakers in Washington and Taipei alike.”
AIT Director Sandra Oudkirk’s address highlighted U.S.-Taiwan cooperation on diversity, equity, and inclusion, particularly pertaining to the role of women in business, government, and society. Oudkirk emphasized that “U.S. support for Taiwan is rock-solid, principled, and bipartisan” and that worries that Taiwanese companies’ investment in the U.S. would “hollow out” Taiwan’s economy are unfounded.
Besides President Tsai, a record number of high-ranking Taiwanese central and local government officials were also in attendance, including Premier Chen Chien-jen, Vice Premier Cheng Wen-tsan, Secretary-General to the President Lin Chia-lung, Secretary-General of the National Security Council Wellington Koo, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua, Minister of Health and Welfare Hsueh Jui-yuan, Minister of the Interior Lin Yu-chang, Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang, Minister without Portfolio John Deng, and National Development Council Minister Kung Ming-hsin. Representation from local governments included Taipei Mayor Chiang Wan-an, Tai-chung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen, Hsinchu Mayor Kao Hung-an, as well as Deputy Mayors from New Taipei, Kaohsiung, Tainan, and Taoyuan.