Embracing Economic Optimism in Post-Election Taiwan

In the aftermath of the 2024 elections, AmCham Taiwan extends heartfelt congratulations to President-elect Lai Ching-te, Vice President-elect Hsiao Bi-Khim, and the Taiwanese people for their robust participation in this democratic milestone. The voter turnout of nearly 72% underlines a resilient commitment to democratic values in a world where such principles face challenges. 

The elections, observed by international journalists and scholars worldwide, not only boasted impressive turnout but also demonstrated commendable efficiency. The rapid and transparent vote count, involving three separate ballots, is a testament to Taiwan’s advanced electoral systems, which have evolved impressively since the first direct presidential election in 1996. 

Further highlighting the democratic spirit of the elections, the two losing candidates made gracious concession speeches shortly after the election results were announced, accepting the fairness of the voting process and commending the Taiwanese people on their commitment to democracy. 

AmCham recognizes that these democratic advancements create a stable, positive investment environment crucial for both domestic and international businesses. The rule of law and an independent judiciary in Taiwan ensure that enterprises operate without fear of arbitrary decisions or judicial unfairness. 

The Chamber’s 2024 Business Climate Survey report (available for download here) echoes this sentiment, revealing a strong sense of optimism among AmCham members about Taiwan’s economic future. An impressive 81% of survey takers in our membership expressed confidence in the coming year’s economic outlook, and 83% anticipate revenue growth for their companies in Taiwan, reflecting an environment ripe for investment and growth. 

The survey also indicates that 92% of AmCham members plan to maintain or increase their investment in Taiwan this year. This commitment is supported by a focus on human capital, with over half investing in skills development and training. However, concerns remain regarding geopolitical uncertainties, talent availability, and the pace of regulatory reform, emphasizing the need for continuous dialogue and collaboration between the government and the business sector. 

Looking forward, stronger collaboration between political parties, the government, and the business world is paramount to driving progress. In his victory speech, President-elect Lai Ching-te welcomed policy proposals from the opposition parties and expressed willingness to consider talent from outside the DPP when making appointments to government positions. This gesture underscores the new administration’s commitment to inclusive governance and a collaborative approach to Taiwan’s challenges and opportunities. 

The new administration has a pivotal role in fostering an environment conducive to foreign investment and reducing trade barriers. Efforts should include concluding the ongoing negotiations under the U.S.-Taiwan Initiative on 21st-Century Trade and pursuing a bilateral trade agreement with the United States.  

The optimistic outlook of our members, despite challenges, signals a collective readiness to engage with Taiwan’s evolving economy. Taiwan’s recent loss of Nauru as a diplomatic ally only underscores the importance of fostering economic and informal ties with the world. Amid global changes, Taiwan must seize this opportunity to strengthen its economy and assert its international presence. 

The Chamber expresses its gratitude to outgoing President Tsai Ing-wen for her administration’s support and engagement in constructive dialogue with AmCham. We encourage the incoming government to continue this effective communication, ensuring international businesses’ confidence in expanding their operations in Taiwan.