This year, we commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Taiwan Relations Act. At the foundation of this relationship, are our shared values and interests, as well as the economic, cultural, and people-to-people connections that bind us together. Today’s meeting showed just how intertwined our bilateral economic relationship has become.
I want to especially thank USTBC for the fantastic work they’ve been doing in enhancing this relationship.
Taiwan, with a population of just 23 million people, is the United States’ 11th largest trading partner, and one of the largest per capita buyers of U.S. agricultural products. Our supply chains, particularly in the ICT sector, are deeply integrated. And as today’s discussion outlined: the ties between our economy, industries, and businesses are closer than ever.
Over the years, Taiwanese and U.S. businesses have worked together as trustworthy and reliable partners. I am sure if you have business in Taiwan, you'll find that Taiwanese people are so much more reliable.
Our commitment to holding up our end of the relationship has never wavered. Each year, Taiwan organizes one of the largest investment delegations for SelectUSA. Furthermore, we send annual agricultural trade goodwill missions, with the objective of bringing some of America’s best and freshest produce to Taiwan.
In particular, over the past two years we were pleased to have announced a number of new deals in energy. This is one of our fastest growing areas of cooperation.
And over the course of today’s discussion, you have given me – and my administration – lots of ideas on how we can further expand and deepen this relationship.
Taiwanese and U.S. companies face many of the same challenges given the current trade environment. We are conscious of the effect that changing supply chains and global trade trends have on deeply interconnected industries, such as the ICT sector.
But as we discussed during the course of these discussions, these risks also bring opportunities. We see new possibilities to engage further through new partnerships, supply chains, and ensuring company-to-company trust. We view further integration of our economies as beneficial to maintaining the rules-based trading system that has sustained us well through the years.
And throughout today’s process, our intention was also to discuss further opportunities for Taiwanese companies to invest in the United States; and more U.S. companies to invest in the Taiwan market. I think we’ve accomplished that.
Encouraging two-way investment continues to be a top priority for my administration. Taiwan possesses a free business environment that sets us apart from our neighbors in the region, and ties us closely with the United States. We have strong rule of law, protection of intellectual property, and a friendly regulatory environment. Over the past three years, my administration has made it simpler to hire, do business, and expand operations by further relaxing unnecessary and burdensome regulations.
This year, Heritage Foundation has ranked Taiwan as one of the best places to do business in Asia, ranking 10th in the world in terms of economic freedom.
Two of the architects of many of these policies, Minister [without Portfolio John C. C.] Deng (鄧振中) and Vice Minister of Economic Affairs [Mei-Hua] Wang (王美花), are with us today. Feel free to direct your questions to them in the short reception we have planned.
Again, Chairman [Michael] Splinter, I thank you and TAITRA for putting this event together. I look forward to having the opportunity to welcome all of you to Taiwan in the near future. Thank you.