July 8, 2018
AIT Official Text #: OT-1819
(As Prepared for Delivery)
Facebook Director of Developer Partnerships Virginia Yang, ladies and gentlemen, Zao an!
As some of you may know, I just arrived in Taiwan as Deputy Director of AIT. I wanted my first public event to highlight the importance of the digital economy for the future of the U.S.-Taiwan relationship, so I am really excited to be here today.
But when our digital economy officer Ryan told me we were going to be organizing an event with Facebook, I got a little nervous because, believe it or not, I don’t have a Facebook account yet! But don’t worry, Virginia assures me that the first app you guys will develop at this training will be how to get people like me on Facebook!
The United States and Taiwan for decades have had very close cooperation on technology, mostly in hardware. Taiwan firms form an integral part of U.S. technology supply chains; and our technology cooperation has been the primary force bringing our two economies together for years.
As we move into the digital age, the nature of our technology cooperation will fundamentally change. In addition to building components that go into electronic devices, our new digital supply chains will be comprised of coders and digital entrepreneurs such as yourselves developing apps using the tools on U.S. software platforms.
Taiwan is fast making a name for itself in the world of coding. In 2016, Taiwan’s Akubic won the U.S. State Department organized global Fishackathon, and last year a Taiwan team captured the “Best Mission Concept” global prize at the 2017 NASA Hackathon. Most notably, Taiwan came in 2nd place at what I understand is the “Super Bowl of hacking competitions,” the DEFCON Capture the Flag competition in Las Vegas. Taiwan also had one of the largest teams at the recent F8 Developer Conference in California this past May.
U.S. firms have definitely taken notice. As I am sure you are aware, virtually every major U.S. tech firm is opening up artificial intelligence R&D innovation labs or significantly ramping up their presence in Taiwan. We have no doubt that Taiwan will quickly emerge as a hub for innovation for the entire Indo-Pacific.
Today’s training is very much in that spirit. It is by strengthening connections between U.S. platforms and Taiwan’s phenomenal coding talent that we can bring the U.S.-Taiwan economic relationship into the digital age.
AIT is always very pleased to work with Facebook. They have been at the forefront of helping build connections between U.S. platforms and Taiwan coders. They have been very active in helping promote women’s entrepreneurship through #SheMeansBusiness. They have been working closely with Digital Minister Audrey Tang and others to help defend Taiwan’s democracy through combatting fake news and meddling in democratic elections. And they have taken it upon themselves to try help Taiwan build up its digital startup ecosystem. We thank them for all of their efforts, and we look forward to working closely with them on future projects.
So on behalf of AIT, I wanted to welcome all of you to this training and say how excited I am about the digital world we will be able to create together. Now if somebody can just show me how to sign up to join!