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President Tsai announces TSMC founder Morris Chang as her envoy at 2018 APEC Economic Leaders' Week
President Tsai announces TSMC founder Morris Chang as her envoy at 2018 APEC Economic Leaders' Week

President Tsai Ing-wen held a press conference on the morning of October 3 to announce that Morris Chang (張忠謀), the founder of the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd (TSMC) will serve as her envoy at the 2018 APEC Economic Leaders' Week. She asked Mr. Chang and his delegation to engage in constructive dialogue with representatives from other countries, identify opportunities for cooperation, and tell the international community about Taiwan's strengths, and vision and ideas about embracing our digital future.

A translation of the president's remarks follows:

First, I'd like to announce that we will invite TSMC founder Mr. Morris Chang to be our Leader's Representative, and attend this year's APEC Economic Leaders' Week in Papua New Guinea in November as my envoy.   

Taiwan is a full member of APEC. We have always been an active participant in APEC, the most important economic forum in the Asia Pacific Region, taking advantage of this opportunity for dialogue, and exchanging ideas with leaders from all the participating countries to promote international economic development and cooperation together.

The theme of this year's APEC Meeting is Harnessing Inclusive Opportunities, Embracing the Digital Future. So at this juncture, Mr. Chang is the most appropriate candidate for this year's meeting, and to represent the nation.

Of course, I also want to use this occasion to express my gratitude to my Senior Advisor, James Soong (宋楚瑜), and the other members of the past two APEC delegations. Their efforts and contributions have helped Taiwan maintain an active role in regional economic cooperation.

This year, to reflect APEC's emphasis on the importance of the digital economy, we invited Mr. Chang to be our Leader's Representative because he possesses three attributes that give him considerable influence.

First, Mr. Chang’s status in international industry makes him an ideal national representative for dialogue and exchanges with national leaders about international economics.

Second, his outstanding contributions to Taiwan's high tech industries and digital development make Mr. Chang an ideal candidate to represent the nation, and exchange ideas with global leaders about the digital economy.

Third, he is broadly representative of Taiwan society, including the government, private, and corporate sectors. Mr. Chang thus represents a Taiwan consensus, and his appointment will be welcomed throughout Taiwan society.

Before Mr. Chang and his delegation depart, I want them to take on two missions.

The first mission for Mr. Chang and his delegation is to engage in constructive dialogue with representatives from other countries, gain a full understanding of their economic situations, and seek opportunities for cooperation.

It's clear that the global economy is changing fast. In addition to trade friction between major powers, the digital age has also brought major changes to economic development models.

So we can depend on Mr. Chang's many years of accumulated industry success to help Taiwan keep pace with fast-changing development trends, and at the same time find opportunities for continued development.

The second mission is to tell the international community about Taiwan's strengths and experiences for the digital economy era, and our vision and ideas about embracing our digital future.

As a spokesperson for Taiwan about high tech industries and digital development, I'm sure there's no better candidate than Mr. Chang. I also believe that in discussions at APEC with Leader's Representatives from other countries, he will help the world understand Taiwan's accomplishments in digital technology, and how Taiwan can contribute to shrinking the digital divide and promoting digital development in small and medium sized enterprises.

We want leaders from other countries to know that Taiwan is a key link in the cooperative network for global digital development.

Under Mr. Chang's leadership, I am confident that our APEC delegation will accomplish their missions. So once again, I thank you all for representing our country, and helping Taiwan embrace the world. Thank you.

Mr. Chang then delivered remarks, saying that, in all humility, he would accept President Tsai's mission. He then pointed out that Taiwan is more than just a link in the global digital economy supply chain. Taiwan, he said, is also an important part of the innovation chain, and will play a major role in the world's digital future.

Mr. Chang also pointed out that in today's environment, some large countries are calling for more "domestic production," and others are pushing to "put our country first." In that kind of nationalistic environment, he said, many small economies face major challenges, including Taiwan. So in keeping with the missions that President Tsai entrusted to him, Mr. Chang said that he would exchange views with representatives and national leaders from other countries about how small economies can address these challenges.

Among those attending the press conference were National Security Council (NSC) Secretary-General David T. Lee (李大維), Executive Yuan's Minister without Portfolio John C. C. Deng (鄧振中), National Development Council Minister Chen Mei-ling (陳美伶), Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-Chin (沈榮津), and NSC Deputy Secretary-General Tsai Ming-yen (蔡明彥).

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