The Kaohsiung Branch Office of AIT covers the Kaohsiung, Pingtung, Tainan, Taitung, Penghu and Chiayi areas in southern Taiwan.
This area, roughly one third of the island, has a population of over 6 million people, including approximately 5,000 American citizens. Kaohsiung Harbor is the world's fourth largest container port.
Most of Taiwan's steel and petrochemical industries are located in or near Kaohsiung, and two of Taiwan's three export processing zones are located in the district.
Increasing numbers of high technology manufacturers are locating in southern Taiwan, many in the new Tainan Science-based Industrial Park.
Taiwan's deep sea fishing industry is based in Kaohsiung. US-affiliated organizations in the district include the Kaohsiung American Chamber of Commerce, the Kaohsiung American School and the Morrison Academy.
The objectives of the Kaohsiung AIT Branch Office are to enhance and maintain commercial, economic, political and cultural contacts in southern Taiwan; to promote US goods and services in Taiwan's increasingly affluent industrial heartland; to provide AIT Taipei and Washington with insights into political and economic trends and attitudes in southern Taiwan, especially as these differ from those in Taipei; and to assist US citizens residing in southern Taiwan.
In cooperation with the Sun Yat-Sen America Center, the AIT/Kaohsiung Office sponsored and engaged in a series of cultural exchange programs over the last year. These programs included a seminar on Southern Taiwan's View of the 2000 US Presidential Election; a lecture on "Evolving Business Models for B2B Markets" by IBM Lead Business Strategist Jill Kaufman; a "US Taiwan-China Relations" lecture by Dr David Lampton; and Kathleen Mills' lecture on "Teaching Pronunciation in the Classroom."
To celebrate the first anniversary of the Sun Yat-Sen America Center, AIT joined other local institutions to fund the Sun Yat-Sen America Center to sponsor America Week, starting from May 28th through June 2nd of 2001.
The America Week included a lecture on Chinese migration to America, a film festival, poetry reading by poet laureate Dr Yu Kwang-chong, and an outdoor jazz concert.
All these programs were well received and we believe that Kaohsiung residents discovered more about the multifaceted and diverse society that is America.