May 6, 2022
Remarks by AIT Director Oudkirk at Meta XR Hub Taiwan Launch Ceremony
May 6, 2022
(As Prepared for Delivery)
President Tsai, distinguished guests — good morning!
It is my distinct pleasure to join all of you in the opening of Asia’s first physical hub for extended reality research.
Since I first lived here in the nineties, Taiwan has developed into an advanced economy and a vibrant democracy, and the U.S.-Taiwan partnership has steadily broadened and deepened. As AIT Director, I am focused on four key priorities: strengthening Taiwan’s role as a regional security partner, promoting global supply chain resilience, preserving and expanding Taiwan’s international space, and deepening our economic and people-to-people ties.
The opening of this XR Hub directly connects to this final objective. Economic and people-to-people ties remain the bedrock of our relationship. These ties are deep and historical. Meta not only is building economic opportunities through this initiative but also looking for innovative and productive ways that people can interact. As Meta has said, “The metaverse is the next evolution of social connection.” We all have become used to virtual meetings and it’s easy to see how extended reality could become a part of all aspects of our work and personal worlds in the future.
I applaud Meta for bringing together leaders in the private and public sector, including the Ministry of Economic Affairs, “Triple I,” TAITRA, the Taiwan Creative Content Agency, and the Taipei Computer Association. The best solutions happen when a broad cross-section of society comes together, bringing their particular strengths and individual understanding of their communities’ needs.
Taiwan’s advanced economy and vibrant democracy nurtures an ever-stronger and deepening U.S.-Taiwan partnership. As the Biden Administration is taking steps to strengthen the resilience and security of U.S. supply chains, we are delighted to see another milestone today: Meta’s investment in the “virtual” world. This effort will help revitalize and rebuild manufacturing capacity and create well-paying jobs—promoting broad-based prosperity for small businesses, minority communities, and economically distressed areas. This is essential for advancing economic opportunity and sustainable development in the Indo-Pacific Region.
By establishing the Meta XR Hub here in Taipei, Meta is demonstrating its belief that Taiwan will play a key role in the rapidly evolving metaverse industry. Taiwan is a central node of the globe’s semiconductor ecosystem and a cutting-edge pioneer on emerging technologies like hardware-software integration, chipsets, processors, 5G and Wifi6. Taiwan developers and artists have also won global awards for VR content creation. These are all essential elements in the metaverse.
I want to thank Meta for working with AIT on a variety of programs over the years, including the NASA Hackathon, Digital Diplomacy on Facebook, Oculus for Education, and most recently, the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs through which we highlight Taiwan’s female entrepreneurs and leaders. Additionally, we appreciate Meta’s efforts to continuously grow its engagement in Taiwan, including creating more jobs, increasing investment, and establishing grants with Taiwanese communities.
This new XR Hub reminds us that the world and the Indo-Pacific region is more interconnected than ever and ensures that the world sees Taiwan’s leadership in technology innovation and the strengths of the U.S.-Taiwan partnership. Thank you.