Taiwan’s economic partnership with California strong and vital, says Ambassador Bruce J.D. Linghu
By Terry Miller
During a special event Tuesday evening, organized by the The Task Force of the International Committee of City Club Los Angeles and Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles, hundreds of guests enjoyed an evening of global communication, camaraderie and commerce based on Taiwan’s ROC strong business ties to the United States. Ambassador Bruce J.D. Linghu, Director General of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office gave a dazzling keynote address punctuated by a well-produced power-point presentation indicating Taiwan’s goals and accomplishments, with particular regard to commerce with not only California and the entire United States but with Mainland China. In political fairness, the Ambassador spoke highly of President Clinton and Obama ( noting that, like our current President, Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou also graduated from Harvard Law School in 1981 .) He also shared images of him with the popular Republication President Ronald Reagan during the keynote address. After the Ambassador spoke, guests were treated to a buffet dinner from Monja which has two locations, one in Rosemead and the other in the City of Industry. Following dinner there was a “roundtable discussion” with Jaime Ming-Shy Chen, Economic Director for the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office based in Los Angeles; Ferdinando Guerrra, International Economist for LAEDC and Deborah Lee, CPA with Price Waterhouse. Meanwhile, Larry B. Ahlquist, General Manager of City Club Los Angeles welcomed guests to the outstanding facility on the 51st floor on in downtown Los Angeles. Among the many things discussed Tuesday evening wwere California’s exports to Taiwan which reached $7.5 Billion in 2013, an 18.27% increase from 2012. Taiwan is California’s 4th largest export market in Asia, and 7th largest export market in the world. California has a long term and strong business relationship with Taiwan. There are more than 800 Taiwanese companies have either set their branch officer or have direct/indirect investments in California. With Taiwan’s mature ICT industry, companies from California have heavily invested in Taiwan, establishing a strong bilateral relationship. According to the Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs, by July 2012 the total direct investment from California to Taiwan amounted to $1.66 billion. “In addition to its mature and well established ICT industries, Taiwan is rapidly developing its biotech, medical devices, pharmaceuticals and renewable energy industries. Enhancing trade ties with Taiwan will help California not only increase its exports to Taiwan, but also promote bilateral cooperation in innovation through Silicon Valley and beyond,” according to information provided to us from The US Taiwanconnect website.
Bringing New Trade and Investment Opportunities to the Golden State California has already attracted investment from many Taiwanese companies from a wide variety of sectors, from technology companies, including semiconductor giant TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company), Foxconn Technology Group, Acer, to transportation firms, including China Airline, Eva Air, Evergreen Marine, Yang Ming Marine Transport. According to Taiwan’s Investment Commission of the Ministry of Economic Affair (MOEAIC), the total direct investment from California to Taiwan amounted to $1.66 billion USD by July 2012. Taiwanese companies have created thousands of jobs in California, and there is still significant potential for Taiwanese enterprises to boost investment and create more jobs in California. • Taiwan serves as an “ideal partner for U.S. business in Asia, “ according to TaiwanConnect “Taiwan has complete industrial supply chains, high concentration of industrial clusters, and a consolidated manufacturer base. The Swiss-based International Institute for Management Development’s (IMD) 2012 World Competitiveness Yearbook ranked Taiwan seventh in the world in terms of overall competitiveness and fifth in government efficiency. This is reflected in Taiwan’s comprehensive protection of intellectual property rights, sound legal system, and modern infrastructure.” Furthermore, the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed between Taiwan and Mainland China in 2010 has opened up opportunities in Mainland China. Businesses can now collaborate with innovative Taiwanese companies and leverage ECFA to utilize Taiwan as a gateway to Mainland China and other fast-growing Asian markets. • • Ambassador Bruce J.D. Linghu, Director General of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office will be leaving for as new post in Canada in two weeks, so part of the evening was a farewell, of sorts to the popular Ambassador.