Former VP Vincent Siew Leads Successful High-level Industry Delegation Visit to the United States

November 27, 2013

Former Vice President of Taiwan, Vincent Siew, led one of the largest Taiwan business delegations in the past few decades to the United States to bridge closer bilateral ties with the U.S. government, enhance industry interaction, and gain support for Taiwan’s bid to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The delegation visited New York City, Washington DC, and San Francisco on its week-long trip in the states, and received positive responses from the U.S. government, Congress, think tanks, and the private sector. The delegation included industry leaders who contributed significantly to Taiwan’s dynamic and innovative economy, and Taiwan’s growing economic leadership in the Asia Pacific. Some of these leaders included Mr. Terry Gou, the founder and Chairman of the largest electronics contract manufacturer in the world and the key supplier to Apple, Hon Hai (Foxconn); Ms. Susan Wang, Vice Chairwoman of Formosa Plastics Group, Taiwanese conglomerate and supplier of petrochemicals with major investments and plants in the United States; Mr. Steve Chan, Chairman of Taiwan’s leading vaccine provider, Adimmune Corp; Mr. Yen-Sung Lee, Chairman of Chunghwa Telecom, Taiwan’s largest telecommunications provider; and many more.



The trip was historical as it was the first time that Taiwanese entrepreneurs had direct contact with U.S. government officials and Congress, including the State Department, Commerce Department, the Treasury Department, and members of Congress--including Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Chairman of House Foreign Affairs Committee Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the Asia Subcommittee Steve Chabot (R-HO), co-Chairs of the Taiwan Caucus, Albio Sires (D-NJ), John Carter (R-TX), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), among others.

  

Former Vice President Vincent Siew and the delegation also strongly advocated for Taiwan’s bid to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Several public events focused on this topic, including a well-attended seminar at the Brookings Institution, and a luncheon event hosted by the National Committee on American Foreign Policy (NCAFP) and the Taipei Economic and Culture Office in New York.

 

The delegation also held industry dialogues and roundtables in all three cities. In Washington DC, an in depth U.S.-Taiwan Industry Summit took place between the Taiwan industry delegation and 17 U.S. companies discussing issues covering trade secrets, financial services, cross-Strait economic integration and how U.S. companies could leverage partnerships with Taiwan companies to expand into the Chinese market. In New York, there was a CEO Lunch and Network event as well as a grand networking event held by the U.S.-Taiwan Business Club, bringing together U.S. companies with the delegation of business titans from Asia. In California, a U.S.-Taiwan Business Forum was also established to build possible cooperation between U.S. and Taiwan businesses.



Though a geographically small country, Taiwan companies serve as critical partners in the global supply chains of many of America’s largest corporations. Taiwan also maintains deep business networks throughout Asia, and most of the business leaders from Taiwan who attended the Summit have very significant investments in China. Today Taiwan is the largest foreign investor in China, and a substantial and growing percentage of exports from China are produced by Taiwan companies in China. The Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), a cross-Strait Free Trade Agreement that covers goods, services, and investment signed in 2010 has brought both sides economically closer together. The interactions between the businesses throughout the trip strengthen the bilateral partnership, and opportunities of working together in Asia were raised in several discussions.

The trip also yielded successful business investments in the United States. After the U.S.-Taiwan Industry Summit, Foxconn announced its plans to invest $30 million in Harrisburg, PA over two years on a high-tech manufacturing facility for telecommunications equipment and Internet servers; Foxconn also revealed that it plans to fund $10 million worth of research and development in robotics at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University. Gou noted that this would bring the manufacturing end closer to its U.S. customers, and also boost U.S. employment as a part of the American manufacturing “renaissance.”