Mon, Feb 14, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Canadian Society looks to new era in Taiwan

MEET AND GREET:The reinvented office will have its first social event this week. It also plans to host networking meetings every second month

By J. Michael Cole  /  Staff Reporter

Taiwan-based companies, big and small, with ties to Canada will soon see their social calendar fill up as the Canadian Society in Taiwan prepares to reinvent itself as a Canadian chamber of commerce in Taiwan, with a greater focus on business and a more dynamic list of activities.

With a new board of directors, including the chiefs of major business players, such as Ford and Lion Travel, the chamber of commerce will hold its first social event on Thursday at the Brass Monkey between 7pm and 9pm, providing a chance for members old and new to learn more about the organization’s plans for the future and to widen their social network.

In a telephone interview yesterday, Canadian Society in Taiwan president Leo Seewald told the Taipei Times the newly revamped organization would set up networking meetings for its members every second month and lunch meetings with speakers from the business community or visiting Canadian diplomats every month in between.

Representatives from big multinationals to small businesses are all welcome to join, Seewald said, as long as their operations have a “Canada slant” — a connection to Canada in terms of the products or services they offer or who they cater to.

For the first year, the membership fee would be NT$500, a bargain compared with that asked of members joining other chambers of commerce in Taiwan, he said. Barring concerns from regulatory authorities, the official name of the new organization is expected to be the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Taiwan.

Although the organization is in the process of redesigning its Web site, information on how to join and contact information is available on the Canadian Society in Taiwan Web site at www.canadiansociety.org.

According to the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei, Taiwan is Canada’s fourth-largest trade partner in Asia and 13th worldwide. Canada’s priority sectors in Taiwan are information and communications technology, agriculture and agri-food, life sciences, building and construction and transportation, with intensifying efforts to promote investment and innovation partnerships.

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