President of American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei Speaks at NTU on Taiwan’s economy and political relations to United States

May. 22, 2019

Written by: YenYen Ko (柯帛芳)
Photo Credit: International College Provisional Office


Mr. William Foreman, President of American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Taipei, was invited to speak at the Guest Speech Event hosted by the National Taiwan University (NTU) International College Provisional Office on Wednesday, May 22nd. Two- hour speech was given by the President of American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), William Foreman and attended by approximately 80 local international students and faculty members.

More importantly, the guested included William Foreman (speaker himself), Dr. William Stanton and Dr. Chen Kuei Yuan (deputy vice president).

Mr. William mentioned that he has a strong- deep relationship with Taiwan, ever since he traveled to Taiwan to study Chinese in the late 80s, he followed his passion as a journalist traveled to China to write about China it was his career goal. Mr. William has served as the vice president of the Taipei Foreign Correspondents’ club while continuing to direct Taiwanese news coverage, “I see Taiwan has a lot of potentials” Mr. William shared. Mr. William Foreman not only great in his academic affairs but also has his intelligence in the business society. He shared his pass experience before becoming the President of AmCham and in May 22nd he has spoke about Taiwan’s economy and political relations to United States.

What is AmCham?

At the beginning of the talk, he generally introduced what is American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham). AmCham is a NGO (non- profit organizations), a Non- Partisan apolitical, it is also independent which means that the organizations has no connection with the US government, with around 500 members company, it is referred as world’s most innovative companies; or it could also be told as a chamber that drives innovations.

The missions of American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) are firstly, working to create a better business environment; secondly, to have open, transparent and competitive work force; and thirdly, to hold an international organizations.

What’s Up with US and Taiwan Relations?

Mr. William share his thought about the message that should be sent to the Washington about US- Taiwan relations is that they need to have more high level visits, hold trade talks on a more regular visits, and more importantly we cannot ignore the Bilateral trade agreements (BTA). “BTA is an exchange agreement between two nations or trading groups that gives each party favored trade states pertaining to certain goods obtained from the signatories.” according to business dictionary. So “Why is BTA important?”, BTA makes better integrate Taiwan into the global economy, thus it make Taiwan less dependent on China.

Taiwan- US Economy and Political Relations

“Taiwan is a Period (era) of urgency” Mr. William strong emphasized. There are a lot of Business opportunity here in Taiwan he mentioned. Taking Costco, Black Rock (Asset management company), Abbott as an example of having a massive market in Taiwan. He stated that Taiwan as a whole has a very beneficial and positive environment and workforce to grow in the future 3 years.

“The advantage for the growth of revenue in companies is the Human Capital (as the survey- takers continue to show enthusiasm about the quality of Taiwan’s human capital)”, Mr. William is very confident in Taiwan’s economy grow, because Taiwan itself has a lot of excellent trade partner, is known as world class industry, have great regulations influences etc. However, “the key concern about Taiwan has three category which are first, regulatory framework; second, energy source, and last the labor policies” he added. Nearly 50 percent of the employees in Taiwan are not satisfied with the policies that the policymakers had set out. “Many companies see the value in the government’s signature programs, and the goal of making Taiwan nuclear free by 2025 will impact their company’s decisions to expand”. These might cause a slow down in the economy growth in the future for Taiwan.


Student ask Mr. William, “ How should Taiwan express its own market more accessible and noticeable?”, “ continue to have global supply chain, welcome more foreign investment and extend the human capital by developing talent” he answered.

People ask Mr. William what was the biggest difference that he has observed since the last time he visited Taiwan and now? “The Media” He said. The daily news report always surrounded in Taiwan society, a very miner society, it should focus more on what is happening outside Taiwan.

“Taiwan need to work in a constructive way, need to focus on economy, society, and democracy” Mr. William Foreman added. Taiwan’s focus is shift because of the world (US- China) trade war issues, economy (reinvigorate the economy) and the parties challenges, Taiwanese people’s constructive spirit to focused on the political debate. The recent political issues that is effecting Taiwan people are the US- China trade war, demography challenges, reinvigorate the economy. “Taiwan should focus more on career development, focus more on the time and urgency shouldn’t be focusing on cross strait relations (兩岸關係)” Mr. William conclude.

As a final point that Mr. William address to the students is that Taiwan’s major issue isn’t about having shortage on money or investment, is the issue on having a major focus on its island society. The messages that Mr. William gives to the younger generations in Taiwan is that they need to boost (increase) language ability, to work towards their career development (create more opportunities), wisely use the environment resources that are given.

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