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President Tsai attends WTCC board of directors and supervisors meeting
President Tsai attends WTCC board of directors and supervisors meeting

On the morning of September 28, President Tsai Ing-wen attended the opening ceremony of the third session of the World Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce (WTCC) 28th board of directors and supervisors meeting in Kaohsiung. In remarks, President Tsai noted that Taiwanese businesspeople are at the forefront of their various industries and leading Taiwan's international engagement. The president said that Taiwan is showing the world that it is a force for good and demonstrating that it can be a key global economic force.

A translation of the president's remarks follows:

Whenever I attend WTCC events, I can really feel that the Taiwanese business community is united behind the WTCC. It's deeply moving to see so many Taiwanese businesspeople having traveled from all over the world to be back home. Many others are also taking part in today's meeting online. I hope you can all come back to Taiwan soon.

Last week, we announced the gradual loosening of our border restrictions. I am sure that my fellow citizens, everyone in attendance today, and all those joining us online are looking forward to our borders reopening. We are taking another step toward life as normal.

On behalf of the government, I want to welcome you all, and to thank the WTCC for providing this opportunity for exchange. We also have a number of friends from the US here at today's event. This past March, when former Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo visited the Presidential Office, I invited him to visit Taiwan often. I'm very glad that we can see each other again so soon after his last visit.

On behalf of the Taiwanese people, I want to welcome Mr. Pompeo, Mr. [Stephen J.] Yates, and Mr. [Christian] Whiton back to Taiwan. Thank you for recognizing Taiwan's importance and supporting Taiwan. On this trip, they have come to Kaohsiung to visit businesses and conduct exchanges with industry representatives and Taiwanese businesspeople. I am confident that this visit will greatly benefit both our nations. We look forward to further expanding Taiwan-US cooperation and exchanges. I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our friends from the Taiwanese business community for working with us to advance our diplomatic efforts and introduce Taiwan to the world.

At the start of the pandemic, WTCC partners donated money and supplies to many countries to fight the virus. And after Russia invaded Ukraine, a group of WTCC members traveled to Poland to help Ukrainian refugees. You are always on the frontlines, taking prompt action. For this, I want to express my deepest gratitude to you all.

We also hope to work with you all to expand Taiwan's global economic and trade presence. We are closely following the situation faced by our compatriots around the world, and have initiated a relief program to work with our friends in the Taiwanese business community in overcoming the challenges of the pandemic. I have asked the Overseas Community Affairs Council to stay on top of the challenges and operational issues that you encounter abroad, and to give you the utmost support.

I also want to tell you all that, as Taiwan continues to engage with the world, the international community also continues to expand its presence in Taiwan and view Taiwan favorably. Under our government's Three Major Programs for Investing in Taiwan, as of this month, we have seen nearly NT$1.8 trillion in cumulative investment from more than 1,250 firms. Through these efforts, we want to show the world that Taiwan is a force for good, and demonstrate that we can be a key global economic force.

Taiwan's semiconductor sector is a focus of global attention. Many visitors from abroad, including last week's delegation from the Czech Republic, have told me they hope to step up exchanges with our semiconductor industry. We have been working for some time to shore up our strengths in this sector. Having already established semiconductor academies in cooperation with six schools across Taiwan, we are accelerating our efforts in talent cultivation while continuing to develop Taiwan's semiconductor industry clusters.

Over the past two years, Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) has worked hard to improve municipal public services, and has truly spared no effort to help Kaohsiung become a center for semiconductors, high tech, and smart technologies. Just last month here in Kaohsiung, construction started at the Nanzih Technology Industrial Park, where Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company has chosen to build a new plant. Set to start operation in 2024, this park is initially expected to generate more than NT$150 billion in annual output. I trust you all share my optimistic outlook on Kaohsiung's future development.

Aside from semiconductors, our new Ministry of Digital Affairs was established last month. This ministry will help our businesses accelerate digital transformation, promote industrial development, and optimize Taiwan's environment for digital economic growth.

Each of you is a leader in your respective industry, and is helping integrate Taiwanese business with the world. With Taiwan's capabilities, technology, and outstanding talent like you, I am confident that Taiwan can also be a leader in global industrial development. I look forward to realizing this goal together with all of you.

Thank you once again to the WTCC and all of you here for your support and contributions to Taiwan. I wish you a productive annual meeting. Thank you.

American Institute in Taiwan Kaohsiung Branch Office Chief Thomas Wong and former US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo also attended the event.

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