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Taiwan and USA to Hold Digital Economy Forum in Taipei

Jun 09, 2015 | By Ken Liu

The ongoing COMPUTEX Taipei trade show that began June 2 saw senior officials from Taiwan and the United States--Taiwan Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs, Bill Cho Shi-chao, and Charles H. Rivkin, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs--jointly announce at the opening of the information technology event the launch of the Taiwan-U.S. Digital Economy Forum to be staged in the Taiwan capital of Taipei later this year.

According to the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), the de facto U.S. embassy in Taiwan, the forum will be among the U.S.'s highest level economic dialogues with Taiwan.

The AIT says for the forum the U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy, Ambassador Daniel A. Sepulveda, will lead the U.S. interagency delegation to meet with his Taiwan counterpart, Minister Woody Duh from the National Development Council (NDC), who will lead Taiwan's delegation, supported by Minister-without-Portfolio Jaclyn Tsai.

The forum that is scheduled for 1 to 2 days, AIT says, will be a high-level, multi-stakeholder platform for discussion of digital economy policy issues of importance to the U.S. and Taiwan, with keynote addresses delivered by senior American  and Taiwan leaders, with presentations by public- and private-sector experts.

The AIT says while the U.S and Taiwan already enjoy a high degree of cooperation in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, the forum will be an opportunity for the two sides to deepen partnership and promote closer coordination and knowledge exchange on policies and goals in this area. Also, the two sides share an interest in promoting the open Internet, the free flow of data across borders, expanded access and adoption of ICTs, and the further development of the global digital economy.

According to the AIT, Rivkin and Taiwan's Vice Premier Simon Chang met before the start of COMPUTEX Taipei to exchange views on the strategic direction of the forum, with President Ma also present to welcome the launch.

Chang points out that the Taiwan-U.S. digital economy forum suggests the U.S. fully appreciates Taiwan's strength in digital economy, with many common interests having formed between the two sides, also noting that before the Taiwan-U.S. forum, the U.S. had only set up similar mechanism with its key trade partners, including European Union, Japan, South Korea, and India.

Chang notes that the digital economy covers a broad range of things, including big data, the Internet of Things (IOT), e-commerce, and issues related to information security, personal information protection and open government, and the forum enables Taiwan to avoid unnecessary mistakes and initiate R&D cooperation with American enterprises.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) points out that the forum will fortify Taiwan's position in the global ICT supply chain and sway American and European heavyweight companies to develop IOT business in Taiwan.

Taiwan's industry executives consider the digital economy forum as a joint effort between Taiwan and the U.S. against mainland China's strengthening ICT manufacturing capability, which continues to gain expertise, self-reliance capacity to be poised to replace Taiwan's supply chains in the mainland. However, the MOEA and NDC deny such perception and assumption, stressing the forum does not involve Taiwan-USA partnership to fend off a “third party” or China.



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