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Recorded remarks by Deputy Minister Harry Ho-jen Tseng for the Taiwan-U.S. Business Roundtable Forum in the Midwest

  • Data Source:Department of North American Affairs
  • Date:2021-09-28

Harry Ho-jen Tseng
 Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs 
 Republic of China (Taiwan) 
 September 28, 2021
(As Prepared for Delivery)



On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan, it is a great pleasure to attend today's Taiwan-U.S. Business Roundtable Forum in the Midwest, cohosted by Discovery Partners Institute, the University of Illinois System, Crain's Chicago Business, and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago.


With today's forum focusing on such important areas as infrastructure and high-tech innovation, I am pleased to report that Taiwan has long been a reliable partner of the United States in these and other areas. In 2020, Taiwan was the United States' ninth-largest trading partner, while the US was Taiwan's second-largest. 


In September last year, we signed a bilateral Framework to Strengthen Infrastructure Finance and Market Building Cooperation. Drawn up by Taiwan's Ministry of Finance and the US Department of the Treasury, this framework aims to catalyze investments in infrastructure by facilitating technical exchanges and information sharing. This will foster opportunities not just in Taiwan and the United States but across the world, including in Pacific island nations, the Indo-Pacific region, and the Western Hemisphere. 


Taiwan and the US have also established a new mechanism called the Economic Prosperity Partnership Dialogue. Then Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Keith Krach led a delegation to meet with Taiwanese government agencies. They discussed a host of issues, including supply chains, global health security, 5G and telecommunications, science and technology, women's economic empowerment, infrastructure cooperation, and investment screening.


The COVID-19 pandemic has rattled the global economic order and reshuffled industrial supply chains. In particular, the recent global chip shortage has intensified US interest in building a secure and reliable semiconductor supply chain. In June, the White House released a report on creating a more resilient and secure supply chain for critical and essential goods, with a large focus on semiconductors. 


This is an area where Taiwan can help. Taiwan's semiconductor industry plays a leading role in establishing secure supply chains around the world. Taiwan's capacity in manufacturing and innovation combined with US chip design expertise can together create a stronger partnership, boosting prosperity in both economies.


In addition to semiconductors, wherever high tech and innovation are involved, it is in both our interests to forge stronger, more secure supply chains in tandem with like-minded countries that value democracy, free markets, respect for human rights, intellectual property rights, and the rule of law. 


The strategic importance of securing high-tech supply chains cannot be overestimated in light of the mounting competition from countries that do not abide by international norms. This is underscored by the numerous instances of commercial espionage, worker human rights violations, questionable financial accounting, and other unfair practices that disrupt our markets. 


If like-minded countries such as ours are to maintain economic prosperity and innovative leadership, it is imperative we find a way to work together to protect the international order built on democratic values. Taiwan stands alongside the US at this critical juncture.


I am confident that today's event will help further explore more ways to make the relations between Taiwan and the US, notably in the Midwest, closer and stronger, and achieve greater prosperity. I wish this roundtable forum every success.


Thank you!