TAIPEI, Taiwan — Former Foreign Minister James Huang (黃志芳) on Wednesday officially became the new chairman of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA).
In an event witnessed by various ambassadors and representatives to Taiwan, Huang officially accepted the TAITRA chairmanship seal from the council’s interim chairwoman, incumbent Vice Economic Affairs Minister Wang Mei-hua (王美花).
Huang, who most recently headed the Presidential Office’s New Southbound Policy Office, will succeed Francis Liang (梁國新), who took over as Taiwan’s representative to Singapore last month.
Minister of Economic Affairs Lee Chih-kung (李世光) was also in attendance and presided over the transfer ceremony.
Before the transfer of power, Lee said that TAITRA was involved in 95 percent of the nation’s annual gross domestic product and was, along with the Bureau of Foreign Trade, one of the main catalysts pushing the nation further onto the global stage.
In his speech following his official appointment, Huang recounted his humble beginnings as a mechanic, followed by various experiences that eventually led him to become the nation’s foreign minister and now to be TAITRA chairman.
Huang added that the key performance indicator of his new position would be the satisfaction of local businesses, saying that it was imperative for Taiwanese companies to increase profits.
He also encouraged his subordinates to follow his lead in steering the council “adventurously,” and implored them to begin thinking from the perspective of business owners.
He said TAITRA would also strengthen its digital sales and organize more events that would seek to connect local companies to foreign buyers very soon.
New Chair’s China Strategy
Following the ceremony, Huang and his team held a press conference to provide further details on his future plans for the council.
On mainland China, the new chairman said Taiwan would not cease expanding its trade with China, adding that TAITRA would increase the frequency of cross-strait business meetings and expositions to boost mutual cooperation.
As to whether Taiwan would be entering the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Huang said more time for observation and assessments were needed.