OT-1115E | Date: 09/15/2011
Greetings and congratulations on the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei’s 60th anniversary. I extend my best wishes to AmCham members, guests, and friends in Taiwan.
Over the last six decades, AmCham Taipei has been a devoted partner to Taiwan, helping promote Taiwan’s development as a leading hub of international trade and investment in Asia. This effort began sixty years ago during the particularly challenging period following the end of World War II. Aid from the United States during those crucial years helped establish the foundation of the world class economy Taiwan has become. Taiwan and the United States found a crucial partner during those formative years, when a small group of businesses and importers combined to establish a chamber of commerce in 1951. Since then, AmCham-Taipei has played a fundamental role in Taiwan’s remarkable transition.
I would like to note some particularly important achievements of AmCham during this period. AmCham-Taipei consistently supported Taiwan in its successful accession to the World Trade Organization. AmCham’s suggestions helped shape the Taiwan Relations Act adopted in 1979 that defines our relationship with the authorities and people of Taiwan. AmCham worked with the Taiwan authorities after the break in U.S.-Taiwan relations to preserve institutions at the core of the American community in Taipei, including the English-language radio station, the American Club, and the Taipei American School. Most importantly, AmCham has helped sustain and preserve the presence of the people of the United States in Taiwan in an overwhelmingly positive way.
This year is a significant anniversary for AmCham-Taipei, and these anniversaries always provide an opportunity to look ahead. Looking ahead, there are several focal areas we see as important: First we must stay engaged working together to resolve trade concerns across industries, particularly regulatory barriers that lack scientific basis, in order to protect the health of all of our consumers. Second, we should continue to promote U.S.-Taiwan trade. U.S. exports grew 41 percent last year — that is impressive, and I offer my congratulations to all involved. But there are still many opportunities for export growth through solutions that facilitate trade. Third, we must take advantage of the opportunities created by the success of the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement for increased cross-Strait trade and associated investment by U.S. businesses. Lastly, we should look for opportunities to enhance two-way investment. Taiwan’s economic growth and success have been one of the key stories in Asia’s economic development since the end of the Second World War. AmCham has played a leading role in working with partners on Taiwan to foster that growth, and I congratulate its members and its leadership on all that has been achieved. Many thanks.