Taiwan should focus on joining TPP in 2015: AmCham
Taiwan must focus on joining the Trans- Pacific Partnership (TPP) this year, said American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Chairman Thomas Fann ( ) yesterday.
Fann made the remarks at AmCham’s 47th annual Hsieh Nien Fan ( ) banquet yesterday. The annual event is held as a way to express gratitude to Taiwanese government officials and to celebrate the collaboration between the government and foreign businesses, with 700 guests showing up for the event.
In his pre-dinner remarks, Fann said “it was AmCham’s fervent wish that the following year would bring Taiwan closer to cementing its role in the evolving international trade framework for the TPP.”
“Perhaps the Chamber’s num- ber one current theme is the absolute necessity of assuring eventual membership for Taiwan in the TPP ... As President Ma, Premier Mao and many other political leaders in Taiwan have stated, a trade-oriented economy such as Taiwan’s cannot afford to be left for long on the outside of such a trade pact,” said Fann.
In order to bolster Taiwan’s TPP candidacy, Fann said it would be vital to send clear signals in the months ahead indicating that Taiwan is dedicated to liberalizing its regulatory regimes and to ensuring that it is fully in conformity with international standards and practices.
“There is no clearer signal than taking concrete measures and to resolve certain areas of contention. And it’s also critical that robust communications with the public take place in a timely fash-
ion,” said Fann.
President Ma Ying-jeou attended the banquet as well, delivering the keynote address prior the dinner and placing much emphasis on the history of Taiwan’s relationship with the U.S. Ma spoke of the history of the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA), which took effect 36 years ago today, and said that the banquet served as a significant gathering with old friends to commemorate the establishment of the act.
“U. S.- Taiwan relations are at their best now in the past 36 years,” said Ma, lauding the effects of the TRA.
The president also recounted two stories that demonstrated the generosity and foresight of the U.S., the first being former U.S. President Roosevelt’s decision to return part of the reparations China paid to the U.S. after the Yihetuan Movement ( ) and invest in the education of Chinese students abroad; the second being the assistance an American doctor and German John Rabe gave to the Chinese people in the Nanking Massacre, when they set up a safety zone that saved the lives of many during the attack by the Japanese military. “We have invited the grandson of John Rabe and his family to come to Taiwan and commemorate the victory in war against Japan,” said Ma.
Taiwan and US Complements
Each Other: AIT Chairman
American Institute in Taiwan Director Christopher Marut also delivered remarks, thanking AmCham for its steadfast belief in Taiwan and its efforts in promoting the relationship between Taiwan and the U.S. Taiwan is a partner that encourages innovation, said Marut. AIT also recognizes what U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said last month, that economic policies lie at the heart of the U.S.’ foreign policies, Marut said, and pointed out that Taiwan and the U.S. matter to each other a great deal economically. “(The two countries) complement and boost each other’s positions in the world,” said Marut.
The Hsieh Nien Fan business dinner has been a tradition held over four decades, and the event provides an opportunity to engage government officials and elected representatives in friendly conversation with AmCham members, facilitating further interaction in the year ahead. Each year, AmCham member companies and corporations that are in coordination with the Chamber office all attend the event.