Tai­wan should fo­cus on join­ing TPP in 2015: Am­Cham

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY KATHER­INE WEI

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 Re­counts

China-US His­tory

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.

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