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President Tsai meets representatives of award-winning businesses
President Tsai meets representatives of award-winning businesses

On the morning of October 29, President Tsai Ing-wen met with representatives from award-winning domestic and foreign companies, trade offices in Taiwan, traditional specialty and local businesses, innovative old brands, and award winners from the Southern Taiwan Bride Pastry Festival. She thanked all of the award winners from various sectors for their dedication and hard work. The president also expressed hope that the awardees will work together with the government to accelerate industrial upgrades and transformation to make Taiwan stand out in the post-pandemic era.

A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:

Tomorrow marks the Merchant's Day and the 74th Golden Merchant Awards ceremony. I am pleased to congratulate the award winners in person prior to the awards ceremony.

While much of the world has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan has managed to maintain positive economic growth. I would like to extend my gratitude to the business leaders from various sectors and industries for working with the government and showing dedication in the face of challenges.

In light of the pandemic, the government launched the Relief 1.0 and Relief 2.0 plans, both of which effectively stabilized the economy. The Triple Stimulus Voucher project also helped propel sales in the food and beverage and retail sectors, leading both to record their highest ever same-month sales. The government recently passed a budget in excess of NT$209.9 billion for the Relief 3.0 plan to continue supporting both industry and labor.

Export order volume exceeded US$50 billion for the first time this September, a record monthly high. The winners of this year's outstanding businesspeople awards achieved impressive results in both domestic sales and exports. They are from the household appliance, sound system and electronics sectors, machine tool manufacturers, and fruit traders. These outstanding products serve as an effective gateway for the world to get to know Taiwan.

Many winners this year are innovators. This underlines the fact that technological advances will stimulate industrial upgrades, which in turn will create more business opportunities and provide new services. This year, outstanding businesspeople and foreign firm awardees include firms from the offshore wind energy sector. This shows that developing renewable energy will not only propel green energy industrial chain localization, but also shape a more internationalized employment environment.

There are also outstanding foreign firm awardees from the finance, aviation, medicine and machine equipment sectors––a testament to international investors' confidence in Taiwan and their willingness to invest in and grow with Taiwan in the long-term. So I want to thank all the foreign enterprises for coming to Taiwan and working with us. My appreciation also goes to the representatives of foreign commerce offices in Taiwan. Thank you for facilitating important economic exchanges with Taiwan.

Taiwan's economic vitality comes not just from the fact that this is a highly internationalized society, but also from traditions that are well preserved by timeless old brands. These old shops have embraced innovation and incorporated creative elements in their products, creating tremendous business opportunities.

To revitalize the traditional confectionery industry, the Ministry of Economic Affairs this year held the first Southern Taiwan Bride Pastry Festival. The event showcased how traditional pastry making can also bring innovative elements to classic flavors. Thanks to these excellent shop owners, tea, traditional Chinese medicine, soy sauce and traditional pastries have maintained their classic flavors, just as many Taiwanese fondly remember. And Bolero is a restaurant that has been a part of so many peoples' happy memories throughout their lives.

In closing, I would like to remind you all that by capitalizing on the opportunities presented by the restructuring of global supply chains in the post-pandemic era, we can drive Taiwan forward. This is a critical time for us to secure a pivotal global position and attract more world-class investments, technologies and talent to Taiwan to accelerate industrial upgrades and transformation.

I hope that all the outstanding businesspeople here will continue to work with the government so that together, we can achieve our overall goals to cultivate the Taiwan market, establish a presence in Asia-Pacific markets, and develop global markets.

The award winners were accompanied by Chairman Lai Cheng-I (賴正鎰) of the General Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of China to meet President Tsai at the Presidential Office.

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