Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Young Taiwan AI entrepreneur earns global accolades

March 17, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Appier CEO Yu Chih-han is the latest young leader lauded by the WEF for his innovative approach to tackling global challenges. (Courtesy of Appier)

A Taiwan artificial intelligence startup founder and CEO was added March 16 to the ranks of Geneva-based World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders on the strength of his business acumen and high-tech accomplishments.

Yu Chih-han of Taipei City-headquartered Appier Inc., a technology company making big inroads in the international AI market since its launch in 2010, earned WEF praise for significant headway in the development of self-driving cars and robotics.

Born 1979 in Taichung City, the Harvard University-trained computer scientist caught the imagination of industry experts and competitors by using AI to track users’ cross-screen behavior on multiple devices.

The technology is a boon for online advertising and has extensive business intelligence applications. Silicon Valley-based Sequoia Capital recognized the potential of Yu’s work and invested US$6 million in Appier during a Series A round of funding in 2014. This was the first time a Taiwan startup had secured backing from the renowned venture capital firm.

Yu said he is grateful for the WEF recognition and believes the honor will help strengthen the development of AI in Taiwan. “We look forward to expanding the technology’s reach across business, healthcare and Internet via the integration of academic knowledge and industrial practice.”

Established in 2004, the WEF initiative nominates next-generation leaders under 40 for a five-year term of collaboration to tackle global challenges. Past alumni from Taiwan include CatchPlay Inc. founder Timothy Chen, Industrial Bank of Taiwan Vice Chairwoman Tina Lo and Shin Kong Life Foundation Executive Director Cynthia Wu. (YHC-JSM)

Write to Taiwan Today at [email protected]

Exports boost awaits Taiwan firms under technology pact

March 17, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Taiwan’s information communications technology sector is set for a major boost under the WTO’s expanded Information Technology Agreement. (MOEA)

Taiwan exporters of products included in the World Trade Organization’s expanded Information Technology Agreement can expect to save US$820 million per year once the pact takes effect July 1.

The ITA includes 136 products in which Taiwan enjoys market advantages. These are components for display devices and mobile phones, GPS navigation equipment, integrated circuits, memories, polarizers and set-top boxes, among others, according to the Office of Trade Negotiations under the ROC Ministry of Economic Affairs March 18.

Under the agreement, 73 percent of such local exports will gain duty-free access to 10 key markets this year, with tariffs on another 19 percent abolished by 2019. As Taiwan’s annual exports and imports of covered products are estimated at US$90 billion and US$62.7 billion, respectively, net savings in tariffs can reach US$820 million a year.

Display components are one of Taiwan’s most profitable exports. A total of 75 percent of shipments are sent to mainland China at rates of 6 percent to 8.4 percent, all of which will be eliminated in three years.

Also, 91 percent of locally produced set-top boxes are shipped to the U.S. and subject to import duties of between 3.9 percent and 5 percent. These are to be reduced to zero later this year.

The MOEA brought local exporters up to speed on the latest ITA developments at a seminar staged with support from the WTO March 16-17 in Taipei City.

A series of events will also be held by the MOEA in early May at venues in Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung cities to assist local firms take advantage of additional ITA business opportunities, especially in Southeast Asian markets. (SFC-JSM)

Write to Taiwan Today at [email protected]

Ma visits ROC diplomatic allies Guatemala, Belize

March 14, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

ROC President Ma Ying-jeou (left) and Guatemala President James Ernesto Morales Cabrera are all smiles during their meeting March 14 in the Central American nation. (CNA)

President Ma Ying-jeou touched down March 14 in Guatemala, the first leg of a seven-day Central America tour including another ROC diplomatic ally Belize and transit stops in the U.S. cities of Houston and Los Angeles.

Ma, who was warmly received by new Guatemala President James Ernesto Morales Cabrera, is heading a delegation of around 80 senior government officials, legislators and business representatives. While in country he will hold talks with Jose Antonio Alvarado, president of the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN), and address the Guatemala City-based institution.

After arriving in Belize March 17, Ma is to meet with Prime Minister Dean Barrow, as well as the leaders of ROC Caribbean diplomatic allies St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Timothy Harris, St. Lucia Prime Minister Kenny Anthony and St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves.

En route to Guatemala, Ma made a stopover March 13 in Houston. He was welcomed by the city’s ROC expatriates at a banquet attended by Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, U.S. Reps. Blake Farenthold, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Pete Olson and Pete Sessions, as well as Raymond Burghardt, chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan.

During the event, the president described Taipei-Washington ties as at their highest point since the Taiwan Relations Act took effect in 1979, citing a record US$20.1 billion in security cooperation deals over the last eight years.

This is in addition to strengthened ties with Taiwan’s regional partners, as evidenced by landmark fisheries agreements with Japan and the Philippines, he said. “Such successes reflect the substantive results achieved by my policy of viable diplomacy and promotion of East and South China Sea Peace Initiatives.

“There is no rest or interim for diplomacy,” Ma said, adding that he will continue expanding Taiwan’s international participation and multilateral ties going forward.

This is the president’s 12th and final overseas trip during his two four-year terms in office. Ma and his delegation will transit in Los Angeles before returning March 19 to Taiwan. (YHC-JSM)

Write to Taiwan Today at [email protected]

Ma visits ROC diplomatic allies Guatemala, Belize

March 14, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

ROC President Ma Ying-jeou (left) and Guatemala President James Ernesto Morales Cabrera are all smiles during their meeting March 14 in the Central American nation. (CNA)

President Ma Ying-jeou touched down March 14 in Guatemala, the first leg of a seven-day Central America tour including another ROC diplomatic ally Belize and transit stops in the U.S. cities of Houston and Los Angeles.

Ma, who was warmly received by new Guatemala President James Ernesto Morales Cabrera, is heading a delegation of around 80 senior government officials, legislators and business representatives. While in country he will hold talks with Jose Antonio Alvarado, president of the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN), and address the Guatemala City-based institution.

After arriving in Belize March 17, Ma is to meet with Prime Minister Dean Barrow, as well as the leaders of ROC Caribbean diplomatic allies St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Timothy Harris, St. Lucia Prime Minister Kenny Anthony and St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves.

En route to Guatemala, Ma made a stopover March 13 in Houston. He was welcomed by the city’s ROC expatriates at a banquet attended by Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, U.S. Reps. Blake Farenthold, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Pete Olson and Pete Sessions, as well as Raymond Burghardt, chairman of the American Institute in Taiwan.

During the event, the president described Taipei-Washington ties as at their highest point since the Taiwan Relations Act took effect in 1979, citing a record US$20.1 billion in security cooperation deals over the last eight years.

This is in addition to strengthened ties with Taiwan’s regional partners, as evidenced by landmark fisheries agreements with Japan and the Philippines, he said. “Such successes reflect the substantive results achieved by my policy of viable diplomacy and promotion of East and South China Sea Peace Initiatives.

“There is no rest or interim for diplomacy,” Ma said, adding that he will continue expanding Taiwan’s international participation and multilateral ties going forward.

This is the president’s 12th and final overseas trip during his two four-year terms in office. Ma and his delegation will transit in Los Angeles before returning March 19 to Taiwan. (YHC-JSM)

Write to Taiwan Today at [email protected]

Taiwan Interpol observer bid bill passed by US Senate

March 10, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Taiwan’s bid for Interpol observer status is receiving firm support from the U.S. executive and legislative branches. (CNA)

A bill boosting Taiwan’s participation in the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) was passed unanimously March 8 by the U.S. Senate.

Introduced by Sen. Cory Gardner and co-sponsored by Sen. Ben Cardin in December 2015, S 2426 follows HR 1853. The latter was proposed by Rep. Matt Salmon and approved without dissent in November the same year by the U.S. House of Representatives.

In a statement welcoming passage of the Senate bill, the ROC Ministry of Foreign Affairs said March 9 that the U.S. executive branch is also a staunch supporter of Taiwan’s meaningful participation in Interpol. Senior Department of State officials Daniel Russel, Kurt Tong and Susan Thornton have endorsed Taiwan’s observer bid in the organization on several occasions.

“These developments underscore the great importance Washington attaches to Taiwan’s expanded participation in international organizations,” a MOFA official said. “Such long-term bipartisan support also shows that Taiwan-U.S. relations are at their best state in 37 years.”

According to the text of S 2426, Taiwan’s exclusion from Interpol denies it access to the organization’s global police communication systems. This hinders the seamless flow of information between international police agencies and effectiveness of coordinated cross-border actions.

“Taiwan is unable to swiftly share information on criminals and suspicious activity with the international community, leaving a huge void in the global crime-fighting efforts and leaving the entire world at risk.”

Citing Taiwan’s observer status of the World Health Assembly, S 2426 sets out Taiwan’s significant contribution to the international community’s collective efforts in pandemic monitoring, early warning, control and other related matters.

S 2426 directs the U.S. secretary of state to develop a strategy within 90 days of its enactment assisting Taiwan to obtain Interpol observer status and take part in associated activities; instruct Interpol Washington to request such status for Taiwan; and urge Interpol members to back Taiwan’s bid and participation. (SFC-JSM)

Write to Taiwan Today at [email protected]

Taiwan Interpol observer bid bill passed by US Senate

March 10, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Taiwan’s bid for Interpol observer status is receiving firm support from the U.S. executive and legislative branches. (CNA)

A bill boosting Taiwan’s participation in the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) was passed unanimously March 8 by the U.S. Senate.

Introduced by Sen. Cory Gardner and co-sponsored by Sen. Ben Cardin in December 2015, S 2426 follows HR 1853. The latter was proposed by Rep. Matt Salmon and approved without dissent in November the same year by the U.S. House of Representatives.

In a statement welcoming passage of the Senate bill, the ROC Ministry of Foreign Affairs said March 9 that the U.S. executive branch is also a staunch supporter of Taiwan’s meaningful participation in Interpol. Senior Department of State officials Daniel Russel, Kurt Tong and Susan Thornton have endorsed Taiwan’s observer bid in the organization on several occasions.

“These developments underscore the great importance Washington attaches to Taiwan’s expanded participation in international organizations,” a MOFA official said. “Such long-term bipartisan support also shows that Taiwan-U.S. relations are at their best state in 37 years.”

According to the text of S 2426, Taiwan’s exclusion from Interpol denies it access to the organization’s global police communication systems. This hinders the seamless flow of information between international police agencies and effectiveness of coordinated cross-border actions.

“Taiwan is unable to swiftly share information on criminals and suspicious activity with the international community, leaving a huge void in the global crime-fighting efforts and leaving the entire world at risk.”

Citing Taiwan’s observer status of the World Health Assembly, S 2426 sets out Taiwan’s significant contribution to the international community’s collective efforts in pandemic monitoring, early warning, control and other related matters.

S 2426 directs the U.S. secretary of state to develop a strategy within 90 days of its enactment assisting Taiwan to obtain Interpol observer status and take part in associated activities; instruct Interpol Washington to request such status for Taiwan; and urge Interpol members to back Taiwan’s bid and participation. (SFC-JSM)

Write to Taiwan Today at [email protected]

Ma vows justice, compensation for Taiwan comfort women

March 9, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Ex-comfort woman Chen Lien-hua receives a warm welcome during the opening ceremony for Ama Museum March 8 in Taipei City. (Courtesy of TWRF)

ROC President Ma Ying-jeou said March 8 that the government will continue seeking justice for Taiwan women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese during World War II.

“Japan should formally apologize to these so-called comfort women and pay appropriate compensation,” Ma said. “The government stands by the victims and will not rest until their dignity is restored.”

The president made the remarks during the opening ceremony in Taipei City’s Datong District of Ama Museum, the first facility of its kind in Taiwan dedicated to the plight of the women. He also praised Taipei Women’s Rescue Foundation for its efforts over the past 10 or so years in collecting historical documents, photos and film footage from the period.

“This part of history must be preserved,” Ma said. “Not for revenge, but to reveal the truth and ensure the mistakes of the past are not repeated.”

Echoing the president’s remarks, TWRF Chairwoman Huang Shu-ling said the museum will also serve as a center for promoting gender equality and highlighting the evils of sexual abuse.

Also attending the ceremony, which coincided with International Women’s Day, was 92-year-old former comfort woman Chen Lien-hua. Forcibly sent in the early 1940s at age 19 to the Philippines, Chen’s story was featured in the 2015 Taiwan documentary “Song of the Reed.”

The documentary was shortlisted at Taiwan’s Women Make Waves Film Festival in 2014, and won an International Golden Panda Award for Documentary the same year.

Statistics compiled by Academia Sinica’s Research Center for Humanities and Social Science, revealed that 1,200 Taiwan women suffered a similar fate during the war. The number of survivors now stands at three. (YCH-JSM)

Write to Taiwan Today at [email protected]



 

Taipei-Vatican ties praised at pope’s anniversary mass

March 7, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

ROC Vice President-elect Chen Chien-ren delivers an address marking the third anniversary of Pope Francis’s election at a special mass March 6 in Taipei City. (CNA)

ROC-Holy See ties are going from strength to strength on the back of expanding exchanges across a broad spectrum of areas, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs March 6.

During a mass celebrating the third anniversary of the election of Pope Francis at Taipei Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Deputy MOFA Minister Leo Chen-jan Lee said the two sides will continue bilateral cooperation and the promotion of global peace.

As a responsible stakeholder in the global community, Lee said, the ROC has been working with the Holy See over the past year in assisting victims displaced by war in northern Iraq and an earthquake and its aftershocks in Nepal.

Another example highlighting relations between the two sides is a special exhibition of rare treasures on loan from the Vatican underway at Taipei City-based National Palace Museum. It is the largest exhibition outside the Holy See of liturgical artifacts used by popes throughout the centuries, he added.

According to Lee, the pope’s quick message of condolences and compassion to the victims of the Feb. 6 earthquake in southern Taiwan’s Tainan City further illustrates the friendship shared by the ROC and Holy See.

Also attending the mass, ROC Vice President-elect Chen Chien-ren said he values the pope’s interest in Taiwan and expects the new administration to continue promoting relations with the Holy See.

Echoing Lee’s and Chen’s remarks, Monsignor Paul Russell, charge d’affaires at the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See in Taipei, said ROC-Holy See relations reflect shared convictions spanning democracy, freedom, human rights and reduction of tension among peoples and nations.

Russell said Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, will visit Taiwan in May for further collaboration under a joint education agreement concluded in 2011.

Another major cultural initiative, Russell added, is the staging in October of the first-ever Christian-Taoist dialogue organized by local religious organizations and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. (SFC-JSM)

Write to Taiwan Today at [email protected]

Tsai proposes reforms for agricultural sector in Taiwan

March 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The sales strategy employed by Taiwan’s lisianthus growers is worthy of emulation by all participants in the local agricultural sector. (UDN)

A raft of reforms aimed at spurring the profitability and sustainability of Taiwan’s rural sector were recently proposed by ROC President-elect Tsai Ing-wen.

The initiatives include an agricultural land bank, farmers’ insurance scheme, labor brokerage system and new trading model. The bank enables the reassigning to young farmers of surplus or underused land, while the brokerage system assists in addressing labor shortages.

But it is the trading model that represents the greatest opportunity for achieving short- to mid-term improvements in the agricultural sector.

Tsai said during a March 1 visit to a lisianthus flower growing-marketing group at Singang Township in Chiayi County, southern Taiwan, that a government-backed export management company is necessary for pooling the resources of Taiwan’s predominantly small-scale farmers and delivering value-added products to market via upgraded packaging, promotion and sales processes.

“Taiwan has a solid foundation in agriculture,” she said “What we need to do is to further improve the quality of high-yield products and encourage innovative marketing strategies to increase global visibility.”

The Democratic Progressive Party chairwoman also praised the sales strategy of the lisianthus growers. According to statistics from the local farmers’ association, exports of 1.6 million flowers to the Japanese market during its off-peak season saw production value top NT$23 million (US$693,209) last winter, with an yearly sales of more than NT$110 million in 2015.

“Our goal is to adapt such a successful model sectorwide and nurture Taiwan into a key supplier of agricultural products in the global market,” Tsai said.

Another suggestion by Tsai involves implementing a globally accepted food labeling system. This measure is to be undertaken as part of her administration’s commitment to continuing government efforts aimed at ensuring food security in Taiwan. (YCH-JSM)

Write to Taiwan Today at [email protected]



 

Tsai proposes reforms for agricultural sector in Taiwan

March 3, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

The sales strategy employed by Taiwan’s lisianthus growers is worthy of emulation by all participants in the local agricultural sector. (UDN)

A raft of reforms aimed at spurring the profitability and sustainability of Taiwan’s rural sector were recently proposed by ROC President-elect Tsai Ing-wen.

The initiatives include an agricultural land bank, farmers’ insurance scheme, labor brokerage system and new trading model. The bank enables the reassigning to young farmers of surplus or underused land, while the brokerage system assists in addressing labor shortages.

But it is the trading model that represents the greatest opportunity for achieving short- to mid-term improvements in the agricultural sector.

Tsai said during a March 1 visit to a lisianthus flower growing-marketing group at Singang Township in Chiayi County, southern Taiwan, that a government-backed export management company is necessary for pooling the resources of Taiwan’s predominantly small-scale farmers and delivering value-added products to market via upgraded packaging, promotion and sales processes.

“Taiwan has a solid foundation in agriculture,” she said “What we need to do is to further improve the quality of high-yield products and encourage innovative marketing strategies to increase global visibility.”

The Democratic Progressive Party chairwoman also praised the sales strategy of the lisianthus growers. According to statistics from the local farmers’ association, exports of 1.6 million flowers to the Japanese market during its off-peak season saw production value top NT$23 million (US$693,209) last winter, with an yearly sales of more than NT$110 million in 2015.

“Our goal is to adapt such a successful model sectorwide and nurture Taiwan into a key supplier of agricultural products in the global market,” Tsai said.

Another suggestion by Tsai involves implementing a globally accepted food labeling system. This measure is to be undertaken as part of her administration’s commitment to continuing government efforts aimed at ensuring food security in Taiwan. (YCH-JSM)

Write to Taiwan Today at [email protected]



 

« Previous PageNext Page »