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Remarks by AIT Director Sandra Oudkirk at the Taiwan Women on Boards Association Whitepaper Press Conference

September 30, 2022

Remarks by AIT Director Sandra Oudkirk
at the Taiwan Women on Boards Association
Whitepaper Press Conference

September 30, 2022

(As Prepared)

Chairperson Tsai, General Manager Ho, Deputy Minister Chen, Vice Chairperson Chiu, Chairman Han.  Female business leaders, distinguished guests, friends. 早安! 大家好!

Thank you for inviting me to participate in the Women on Boards Whitepaper Press Conference.  It is an honor for me to join this event to celebrate female business leaders in Taiwan and around the world.

As Director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), one of my strategic priorities is strengthening the trade and investment ties between the United States and Taiwan.

I believe that investing in women’s economic activity – as workers, entrepreneurs, innovators, and business leaders – is essential both to our overall economic competitiveness and to promoting investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, and supply chain resilience.

I am very pleased to share with you that in 2019 the U.S. Department of State established the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs, or AWE program, to support the goals of the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative.

Last year, AIT partnered with MOEA to launch the AWE program in Taiwan.  Impressively, AWE Taiwan recruited 90 female entrepreneurs who are leading early-stage enterprises.  The U.S. is committed to this important program, which has demonstrated its value in advancing women’s economic empowerment by providing the skills, resources, and networks needed to start and scale successful businesses.

Building on AWE’s success, AIT also partnered with the Council for Indigenous People to create Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs, a Chinese-language training and mentorship program targeting indigenous women, many of whom live in Taiwan’s rural communities, where few resources exist to help them develop their businesses.

In addition, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo is focused on bringing more women into the workforce.

In 2021, she launched the Select Global Women in Tech Mentorship Network at the SelectUSA Investment Summit. This Mentorship Network allows female tech entrepreneurs from around the world to receive mentorship and grow their businesses in the U.S. market.  I’m pleased to share that we’ve had 18 women entrepreneurs from Taiwan join the Global Women in Tech program since the program began.  I’m confident that we will see many more.

It is wonderful to hear that today’s conference will cover overseas expansion. For those who are considering investing in the United States, the SelectUSA program is one of the best resources available to help you with the process.  Each year, the SelectUSA team organizes the SelectUSA Investment Summit, the world’s largest annual investment promotion event organized by the U.S. federal government.

Taiwan’s strong participation in the Investment Summit reflects Taiwan firms’ positive view of doing business in the United States.

The Taiwan delegation to the 2022 SelectUSA Summit had 274 delegates from 193 companies, the largest delegation to date from any market worldwide.  It was also among the highest in quality in terms of the viability of follow-on investments and the level of leadership by Taiwan’s public and private sectors.

The 2023 SelectUSA Investment Summit will be held May 1 to 4 near Washington, DC, and AIT will again lead a major delegation of Taiwan investors to the Summit.  My team is committed to working with you to make your participation as beneficial as possible.  As in years past, we are already planning spinoff activities both before and after the Investment Summit to help you grow your investment and business in the United States.

I look forward to personally participating in the 2023 SelectUSA Investment Summit and hope to be joined by even more female business leaders this time, perhaps by some of you in this room today!

In closing, allow me to note that initiatives such as AWE Taiwan and the Global Women in Tech Mentorship Network align very well with WOB’s own objectives and programs such as the WOB Academy.  Working together, I look forward to seeing more women succeed in business here in Taiwan and the United States.  As we accomplish this goal both our economies will benefit!

I wish you a successful conference today and look forward to seeing more women on boards across Taiwan, the United States and globally!

Thank you!