OT-1009E | (As Prepared for Delivery)
Mayor Chen, Magistrate Yang, CEO Lo, President Aiello, AmCham Members, Distinguished Guests, Media, and Friends:
As you know, AmCham Taipei has a wonderful tradition each year called Hsieh Nien Fan. One month ago, I had the pleasure of attending the 2010 Hsieh Nien Fan along with President Ma Ying-jeou. During my remarks that night, I underscored AIT’s determination to strengthen U.S.-Taiwan economic relations, resist trade protectionism, promote people-to-people links and support enhanced cross-strait economic ties. Tonight, I’m pleased to bring this proactive message of cooperation to southern Taiwan.
In that context, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate AmCham Kaohsiung for launching its own annual tradition in southern Taiwan, the “Ying Chun Yan,” which begins here with this evening’s gala business dinner. Amcham Kaohsiung has charted a new course for itself, dedicated to serving as a vital sounding board for AIT, building bridges between international businesses and local officials, strengthening local conditions for foreign investment and promoting greater prosperity throughout southern Taiwan.
As I mentioned in Taipei, I am optimistic that Taiwan’s economy is beginning to bloom once again. As we emerge from the global economic crisis of 2009, the U.S. is more committed than ever to strengthening its bilateral economic ties with Taiwan. In that regard, we welcome enhanced cross-Strait economic ties, which make it easier to do business and foster security.
With Kaohsiung City and Kaohsiung County preparing to merge, I hope that the people of southern Taiwan will be able to take advantage of new economic opportunities offered by improving cross-Strait ties and continued vigorous trade between Taiwan and the U.S. This is why we are so pleased that AmCham Kaohsiung has unveiled its first-ever Southern Taiwan White Paper, which points out that a merged Kaohsiung City and County has great potential for future economic growth.
So I thank you all for attending tonight, with special thanks to Mayor Chen, Magistrate Yang, and CEO Lo. We hope the Ying Chun Yan will provide a valuable opportunity for us to get together each year to exchange serious ideas on how to work together to bring prosperity and growth to southern Taiwan. Furthermore, we are grateful that this event will give us a chance each year to thank local companies dedicated to importing U.S. technology to Taiwan and, with the help of our Ying Chun Yan partner Lighthouse Rotary, to give back to communities where we live and work.
Thank you again and all my best in the Year of the Tiger!