As this year’s APEC meetings hosted by the US near their conclusion, anticipation has turned to next week’s APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in San Francisco.
This year’s APEC meetings, which have the theme “Creating a resilient and sustainable future for all,” have brought together a formidable assembly of global leaders and have had a profound effect on the international stage.
One noteworthy development was President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) announcement that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) founder Morris Chang (張忠謀) would be this year’s envoy to APEC. The decision highlighted the pivotal role that Taiwan is poised to play in shaping APEC’s future, with a focus on bolstering supply chain resilience.
Moreover, it underscores the paramount significance of Taiwan’s high-tech sector during the COVID-19 pandemic and in the post-pandemic era.
APEC is dedicated to nurturing collaboration, economic advancement and prosperity among its 21 member economies. The objectives of APEC this year closely mirror the pressing global challenges of today.
Anchored in this year’s overarching theme, the US has outlined three priorities: bolstering interconnectedness, driving innovation and fostering inclusivity.
In a world where borders are increasingly porous and economies are intricately interwoven, enhancing connectivity becomes a paramount objective. APEC is dedicated to promoting open and fair trade to foster deeper regional integration. This core priority underscores the importance of fortifying relationships among member economies and extending beyond them with the overarching goal of ensuring that the benefits of economic growth are shared.
With regards to innovation, APEC has a crucial role as the engine driving economic growth in the modern era. It is resolutely committed to harnessing the transformative power of innovation to foster economic prosperity and address pressing global challenges. Innovation stands as the catalyst for the development of sustainable technologies, the optimization of supply chain processes and job creation. This unwavering emphasis on innovation is paramount to remaining competitive in an ever-evolving global landscape.
Inclusivity is at the core of APEC’s agenda. Amid a tapestry of intricate social, economic and environmental challenges, APEC is resolute in its commitment to inclusivity. By championing policies and initiatives tailored to the specific needs of marginalized communities, APEC aspires to ensure that economic growth becomes a universally inclusive force, irrespective of backgrounds and circumstances.
Taiwan, despite its unique international status, is a full member of APEC and contributes to shaping the organization’s agenda. Its role this year has been particularly significant, thanks to the appointment of Chang, who brings extensive experience from the previous times he was an APEC envoy.
As the founder of TSMC, a global leader in semiconductor manufacturing, Chang’s appointment underscores Taiwan’s expertise in the high-tech sector, affirming its potential to make substantial contributions to APEC’s priorities.
One of the central issues on the APEC agenda is supply chain resilience. The pandemic exposed vulnerabilities in global supply chains, leading to disruptions in critical sectors such as healthcare and technology.
Taiwan, with its robust high-tech industry and manufacturing capabilities, can play a crucial role in addressing these vulnerabilities.
Taiwan’s expertise in high-tech, particularly in fields such as semiconductor manufacturing, plays an essential role in ensuring the resilience of the global technology supply chain. Collaborating more closely with Taiwan and harnessing its advanced manufacturing capabilities can empower APEC member economies to establish more robust and adaptable supply chains capable of withstanding disruptions.
As an example, Taiwan initiated and successfully completed an APEC project titled “Leveraging digital twin technology to enhance supply chain productivity for a resilient economy.”
Taiwan’s contributions to this year’s APEC agenda extend beyond supply chain resilience. The nation’s successful response to the pandemic has garnered global acclaim.
Taiwan’s proactive measures of containment and contact tracing earned it international recognition.
Additionally, Taiwan has played a crucial role in global vaccine production and distribution, underscoring the nation’s commitment to global health and well-being.
In the post-pandemic era, Taiwan’s high-tech sector would remain a driving force in global innovation.
Whether it involves pioneering cutting-edge technology or advancing sustainable practices, Taiwan’s influence reaches far and wide.
Notably, Taiwan has embarked on projects such as “Success Models of Sustainable Tourism: Accessibility, mobility, connectivity and intelligent public transport systems in the post-pandemic era.”
As the US nears the end of its role as APEC host, the global community maintains a keen interest in these proceedings.
Taiwan has a critical role in this collective endeavor, especially in improving supply chain resilience and advancing the high-tech sector.
With the wealth of experience and knowledge Chang has, Taiwan’s influence within the organization is poised to have a substantial effect.
APEC presents a unique opportunity for member economies to collaborate, drive innovation and shape a future that is more interconnected, innovative and inclusive, benefitting all.
Darson Chiu is a research fellow at the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research’s APEC Study Center.
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