Press Release

The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the United States (TECRO) Joint Statement on the 2nd Digital Economy Forum

The following is the text of a joint press statement issued at the conclusion of the 2nd Digital Economy Forum.


On October 13, 2016, senior representatives from the United States and Taiwan authorities, under the auspices of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO), held the second Digital Economy Forum in Washington, D.C., to promote coordination on policies and practices that are critical to reduce impediments to and enhance the growth of the global digital economy.


During the Forum, the two sides held discussions with U.S. and Taiwan industry representatives on shared priorities to enable expansion of the digital economy, such as fostering “light touch” policy and regulatory environments to support digital development; pursuing high standards for digital trade and privacy; innovating and deploying new technologies related to the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart cities; and adopting financial technologies to improve availability and efficiency of financial sector products and services.


The two sides affirmed support for the following:

  • policy and regulatory environments that promote innovation, trade, investment, and growth in the digital economy;
  • normalization of private sector consultations and input during policy and regulatory formation and implementation, with clear processes for engaging stakeholders that are fair, transparent, and predictable;
  • an inclusive, open, and transparent system of Internet governance and active support for the multistakeholder approach; 
  • enhancing privacy protections and enabling cross border data flows by implementing and promoting applicable frameworks for privacy and data protection, such as through the APEC Cross Border Privacy Rules system, endorsed by APEC leaders in 2011;
  • policies that facilitate the free flow of information across borders.


The two sides also reaffirmed the AIT-TECRO Trade and Investment Framework Agreement as the key forum for U.S. and Taiwan authorities to resolve bilateral trade issues. The TECRO representatives expressed support for high-standard principles that will permit digital trade to flourish, and committed to promote the digital economy through a free and open Internet and commerce without borders.


The two sides underscored the importance of facilitating the development of start-ups and of seeking opportunities to promote closer cooperation between U.S. and Taiwan venture capital firms, start-up clusters and innovators.  Both sides also affirmed the importance of intellectual property rights and licensing to expand two-way technology trade and investment between the two economies.


The participants shared information on the status of smart city projects and encouraged further collaboration through AIT and TECRO between the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the National Development Council (NDC) on research for smart city and IoT technologies through the Global City Teams Challenge program and the IoT-Enabled Smart City Framework public working group. They reiterated support for the development of global standards that are voluntary, industry-led, and market-driven.


The two sides explored cooperation to expand Internet connectivity through the Global Connect Initiative, aimed at connecting an additional 1.5 billion people to the Internet by 2020.  The TECRO representatives expressed support for the initiative and the two sides committed to carry out a joint program that aims to expand Internet connectivity and bridge the digital divide through the AIT-TECRO Global Cooperation and Training Framework MOU. 


The AIT delegation was led by Ambassador Daniel Sepulveda, U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy.  Deputy U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Holleyman gave remarks on the digital economy and trade.  Participation  included officials representing the Department of State, Department of Commerce, USTR, the Federal Communications Commission, NIST,  the Federal Trade Commission, and AIT representatives. The TECRO delegation was led by NDC Deputy Minister Dr. Kung Ming-Hsin, and included representatives from NDC, Office of Science and Technology of the Executive Yuan, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Financial Supervisory Commission, and TECRO representatives. U.S. and Taiwan industry representatives also participated in the forum.

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