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Remarks by AIT Director Sandra Oudkirk at the AmCham Taiwan 70th Anniversary Celebration
December 8, 2021


(As Prepared for Delivery)


President Tsai, Ministers, Chairperson Chin, AmCham Board Members, distinguished guests, friends – Good evening 大家好!

Thank you for the invitation to speak this evening.  Congratulations on AmCham Taiwan’s 70th anniversary!

I am a strong supporter of AmCham and have worked closely with your counterparts in many places around the world.

Since my arrival in Taiwan in July, I have participated in several AmCham events and exchanges that have highlighted the broad range of AmCham member company expertise.

This anniversary is a good time to reflect on the extraordinary economic and political transformation Taiwan has experienced over the last 70 years.  Throughout the past decades, the U.S. business community has been a significant contributor to growth and development both here and in the United States, and AmCham Taiwan has flourished along with Taiwan’s economy.

Taiwan’s image on the world’s stage has never shone brighter than it does today, and the opportunities and potential for AmCham Taiwan’s members have never been greater.

I am glad to report that the U.S.-Taiwan relationship is also in a really good place.

The value of our partnership and our support for Taiwan is rock solid.  We are committed to deepening our ties with Taiwan – a leading democracy and a critical economic and security partner.

The United States is committed to supporting Taiwan as it seeks to expand its already significant contributions to addressing global challenges.

Continued, effective engagement both by the American business community in Taiwan and by AmCham help to address these critical challenges by bringing the U. S. business community and Taiwan counterparts closer together.

Our shared economic prosperity remains a key pillar of our relationship and in a technologically driven, globally interconnected economy, these topics have become critical elements of our shared national security.

As Asia’s “Silicon Island,” Taiwan is a central node of the globe’s semiconductor ecosystem and a cutting-edge pioneer on emerging technologies ranging from 5G-ORAN to artificial intelligence.

We will continue to work with Taiwan to ensure global supply chains remain safe and secure.

Taiwan has an important role to play not just in semiconductors, but in other critical and emerging industries like electric vehicles and medical supply chains.  We are fortunate to have Taiwan as a strong and capable partner in these key industries, which form the foundation of global economic prosperity and stability.

The U.S.-Taiwan economic relationship is broader than just one industry.  Taiwan was the seventh-largest consumer of U.S. agricultural products and our ninth-largest trading partner in 2020.  Of our top ten partners, only Canada and Mexico trade more with the United States on a per capita basis.

In addition to our work on supply chains, we are deepening economic and commercial engagement with Taiwan in a number of ways, including through both on-going and newer policy initiatives.

On trade and investment, starting in June the United States and Taiwan re-launched our Trade and Investment Framework Agreement talks, setting the stage for broader and more consistent engagement moving forward.

Last month, the United States and Taiwan held our second Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue.  Many thanks to Ministers Wang Mei-hwa and Wu Tsung-tsong for leading the Taiwan side in those discussions.

During this year’s EPPD, the two sides focused on supply chain resilience, economic coercion, the digital economy and 5G network security, and science and technology.

We resolved to further deepen cooperation across the full spectrum of economic and commercial issues.

We also intend to establish a business advisory group to provide recommendations to both sides on ways to enhance economic and commercial ties between the United States and Taiwan.  We encourage AmCham member companies’ active involvement in this effort.

Just yesterday, Secretary of Commerce Raimondo and MOEA Minister Wang launched the new U.S.-Taiwan Technology Trade and Investment Collaboration (“TTIC”) Framework.

T-TIC will be a powerful platform to strengthen two-way investment and to support new and ongoing efforts in sectors ranging from 5G and semiconductors to EVs, energy, and cybersecurity.

Working together to get these elements of the new tech economy right will yield significant benefits for both our markets and open new, game-changing commercial opportunities.  We look forward to AmCham’s support and participation throughout the process.

One growing focus for bilateral cooperation is countering cybersecurity threats.  Cybersecurity is both a national and economic security issue.

The business community understands this better than anyone – data/information is crucial, and safeguarding data – whether customer information or proprietary business information, is absolutely essential.

We must work together to build a culture of cybersecurity that includes business, government, academia, and society at large.  Because good data and reliable information doesn’t just enable economic growth & innovation it is also the foundation of our democratic systems and national security.

I hope we can call on the business community to offer lessons learned and advice to policy makers in America and Taiwan as we work to safeguard our economy and key industries from cyber threats.

Once again, I would like to thank AmCham Taiwan for welcoming me here today.  I congratulate you on 70 productive and momentous years as the premier organization dedicated to solidifying U.S.-Taiwan business ties and thank you for being an important partner to AIT.  I salute you for your deep commitment to the relationship, and I wish you another successful and rewarding 70 years.