Remarks by Director Brent Christensen at the GEC+ Opening Ceremony

September 27, 2018
AIT Official Text #: OT-1828


(As Prepared for Delivery)

Vice President Chen Chien-jen, Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin, Digital Minister Audrey Tang, Small Business Administration Senior Advisor Eugene Cornelius, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, zao an!

It is my distinct pleasure to help kick off the Global Entrepreneurship Congress Plus.  The GEC+ will explore how entrepreneurs can use artificial intelligence and the internet of things for social good.  From our perspective, the theme of this event perfectly encapsulates some of the best the U.S.-Taiwan technology relationship has to offer.  Let me tell you why:

First, this event demonstrates Taiwan’s emerging global leadership in technology entrepreneurship.  Taiwan has a tremendous amount it can share with the world, and it has been an active partner in the Global Entrepreneurship Network for the last several years.  During the Global Congresses in South Africa, Estonia, Turkey, Bangkok, India, and now here in Taipei, we can see on full display all of the progress Taiwan has been making on tech entrepreneurship.  Taiwan has long been known as a world-class technology manufacturing powerhouse, but it is quickly emerging as a globally recognized innovation and entrepreneurship hub.

Second, U.S. firms are increasingly looking to Taiwan to serve as the base for their AI research and development efforts.  Major U.S. companies, such as Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, Uber, and Qualcomm have either already established AI R&D centers in Taiwan, or hope to in the near future.  Google has made Taiwan central to its software-hardware integration efforts.  They want to cooperate with Taiwan to take full advantage of Taiwan’s world-class brain power.  Who can blame them?  We have every confidence that Taiwan can become to AI in Asia what Wall Street has become to finance in North America.

Third, Taiwan is perfectly positioned to ride the Internet of Things wave into the future.  Taiwan’s long-standing prowess in electronics manufacturing is finding new life in emerging IoT industries, including smart cities, biomedical technology, smart machinery, and autonomous vehicle component manufacturing.  If we can combine American AI with Taiwan’s hardware expertise, we have no doubt we can be the joint architects of the AI-enabled future.

Finally, what most distinguishes Taiwan from any other economy is how it does everything with a good heart.  There have been countless events about the business and economic opportunities associated with AI and IoT, but only in Taiwan are we reminded of the real bottom line – namely how we can use technology to solve social problems and promote the social good.  Through the leadership of Digital Minister Audrey Tang and others, Taiwan is not only confirming its status as a technological powerhouse, but also as a force for global good.

Taiwan is an important partner of the United States, especially as we implement our recently-announced Indo-Pacific Strategy.  We share the goal of a free and open Indo-Pacific, one where energy, infrastructure, and digital economy innovations can all be used as instruments of social good.

Congratulations once again on hosting this meaningful and fascinating event.

Thank you.