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President Tsai meets US cybersecurity business development mission
President Tsai meets US cybersecurity business development mission

On the morning of September 18, President Tsai Ing-wen met with a cybersecurity business development mission from the United States. In remarks, President Tsai said that cybersecurity is a key issue of mutual concern for Taiwan and the United States, and that in addition to our efforts in science and technology, our countries have been strengthening our economic partnership in recent years. She emphasized that Taiwan is willing to share its experiences with the US and our other democratic partners around the globe. With the support of the members of the cybersecurity business development mission, she said, Taiwan looks forward to working with the US to continue strengthening cybersecurity and bolstering our advantages in emerging technologies to facilitate safer and more progressive global development.

A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:

I extend a warm welcome to Director of the US Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Laurie Locascio, who is visiting Taiwan for the first time. And I am delighted to meet with you all. In recent years, cybersecurity has been a key issue of mutual concern for Taiwan and the United States. We look forward to even more cooperation in this field going forward.

For example, in April, a delegation from Taiwan's Ministry of Digital Affairs traveled to the US to participate in the RSA (Rivest–Shamir–Adleman) Conference. They also met with representatives of NIST and exchanged opinions on US cybersecurity standards and cybersecurity defense mechanisms. In May, we also held the first Taiwan-US Science and Technology Cooperation Dialogue. This was our first high-level policy interchange on this topic since the Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation was signed at the end of 2020. NIST also participated in the dialogue, which was of great significance to bilateral science and technology collaboration.

Along with science and technology, Taiwan and the US have been strengthening our economic partnership. The first agreement under the Taiwan-US Initiative on 21st-Century Trade was signed in June, setting another milestone in our economic relations. I also want to thank the US Congress for its efforts to address the issue of double taxation. We look forward to the signing of an avoidance of double taxation agreement at the earliest possible juncture to foster even closer industrial collaboration.

I believe that your visit will help further advance Taiwan-US cooperation. Over the next few days, you will attend US Business Day and a cybersecurity forum, and meet with government officials and businesses to discuss how to address cybersecurity challenges.

Since taking office, I have often emphasized that cybersecurity is national security and have promoted policies in line with this belief. Taiwan is willing to share its experiences with the US and other democratic partners around the globe. Thank you for making the journey to be with us. With your support, we look forward to Taiwan and the US continuing to strengthen cybersecurity and bolstering our advantages in emerging technologies. This will do much to facilitate safer and more progressive global development.

Director Locascio then delivered remarks, saying that she was pleased to be leading the cybersecurity business development mission to Taiwan. The representatives of the 13 firms accompanying her, she said, are looking forward to meeting with their counterparts among Taiwan's leading information and communications technology, security, and critical infrastructure providers to foster enhanced commercial engagement.

Director Locascio said Taiwan is an important friend and trading partner of the US in the Indo-Pacific region. She pointed out that the members of her mission are excited that these efforts focused on cybersecurity will help support stronger commercial ties in this important sector as part of the technology trade and investment collaboration framework that was jointly announced on December 6, 2021 by US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Taiwan's Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花).

Director Locascio congratulated President Tsai on her work to strengthen cybersecurity and focus on this issue since the beginning of her presidency, as evidenced by her steadfast efforts to establish the Ministry of Digital Affairs last year. Director Locascio mentioned that the Biden administration in March this year released the National Cybersecurity Strategy, which prioritizes international engagement with like-minded partners and friends. She also said that she looks forward to meeting with Digital Minister Audrey Tang (唐鳳) and other leaders to discuss how we can bolster our collective cybersecurity capabilities by collaborating under the auspices of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) to encourage further private sector adoption of proven cybersecurity standards, guidelines, and practices.

As director of NIST, Director Locascio said that cybersecurity is one of her key priorities. She stated that NIST develops cybersecurity standards, guidelines, best practices, and other resources to meet the needs of industry, the US government, international partners, and the broader public. NIST's activities, she added, range from producing specific information that organizations can put into practice immediately to longer-term research that anticipates the advances in technologies and future challenges.

She stated that last month an update to the NIST cybersecurity framework was released, which NIST refers to as cybersecurity framework 2.0. She added that NIST welcomes engagement from Taiwan's experts to ensure that the framework continues to be a useful tool to help organizations and users throughout the world manage cybersecurity risks.

Director Locascio stated that all economies have an inherent interest in cybersecurity and protecting their people, as well as the public and private sectors, from unwanted hacking, surveillance, and theft of proprietary and personal data. She then expressed confidence that from these efforts, Taiwan will have access to the tools and strategies it needs to further strengthen its cybersecurity posture. 

The mission also included US Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Department of Commerce Pamela Phan. They were accompanied to the Presidential Office by AIT Taipei Office Director Sandra Oudkirk.

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