March 22, 2023
Remarks by AIT Director Sandra Oudkirk
at TechCamp Kaohsiung Networking Event
[’Hello’ in Pinuyumayan language]
Mayor Chén, Deputy Mayor Luó, CIP Economic Affairs Director Sòng, National Sun Yat-sen University Vice President Kuo, the entire TechCamp Kaohsiung community, and Honored Guests and friends:
Welcome to TechCamp Kaohsiung’s culminating Networking Event!
I’d like to especially recognize our implementing partners at National Sun Yat-sen University and Hanzon for their remarkable partnership with AIT Kaohsiung.
And most of all, to every one of the nearly 50 TechCamp participants for your talent, vision, and passion to give back:
[‘Thank You’ in Paiwan language]
TechCamp Kaohsiung has built stronger economic and people-to-people ties between the United States and Taiwan, empowering southern Taiwan’s indigenous entrepreneurs with the knowledge, networks, and access they need to launch and grow thriving, technology-enabled businesses.
Whether for your creative ideas in cultural enterprises, eco-tourism, eldercare, local foods and agricultural products, or so many others — you should be recognized not only for your business aspirations, but for serving as far-sighted stewards for the well-being and future of your hometowns, your cultural roots, and your communities.
AIT Kaohsiung has engaged in a yearlong collaboration with our partners on a three-phase initiative:
A three-day workshop in March 2022 on tech tools and digital solutions for small business owners; then a Small Grants Competition in the summer of 2022; and now today’s Networking Event to celebrate this yearlong collaborative journey.
AIT is committed to economic empowerment initiatives like TechCamp Kaohsiung because we believe that an open, free, and resilient society needs to draw on the strengths of all its members.
TechCamp Kaohsiung is part of an array of AIT initiatives that empower small business owners throughout Taiwan, particularly among communities that have traditionally been underserved.
These include programs such as: Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs; the Academy of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE); and SelectUSA’s Select Global Women in Tech Mentorship Network.
We have information on all the programs included in the TechCamp Kaohsiung brochure, and I encourage you to speak further with members of AIT team to learn more about these programs.
Our work together doesn’t just end at the conclusion of TechCamp Kaohsiung. As exchange alumni of the Department of State, we look forward to working with all of you on many future opportunities to make a difference for your businesses, for your communities, and for Taiwan.
In the 21st century, our people — our human resources — and the ability to unleash their full potential is a key pillar of strength that underpins our democracy. I’m going to be going off script now. [In Mandarin:] I’m very excited to see many children here today. Children are the future for society, and for democracy. [Resuming in English:]
Thank you once more for the opportunity to recognize the successes of TechCamp Kaohsiung. I’m going to be going off script now. I wish all of you a wonderful time connecting and re-connecting at today’s event, and much success in all your future endeavors.
[‘jiayou’ in Amis/Pangcah language]