🌐 Many think international relations is the sole domain of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. But given the rise of public and digital diplomacy, as well as Taiwan’s unique international status, it should be seen as collaborative effort among the citizenry, public and private sectors. It is also the most effective way of finding new solutions and realizing common values.

💡 In April, the American Institute in Taiwan, MOFA and my office (Public Digital Innovation Space, PDIS) launched AIT@40 Digital Dialogues. This series consists of discussions taking place in April, June, August and October on how to improve each of the four main pillars of the U.S.-Taiwan relationship: “Taiwan’s role in the global community,” “U.S.-Taiwan economic and commercial relations,” “U.S.-Taiwan security cooperation” and “U.S.-Taiwan people-to-people ties.”

📲 This collaboration is the first time the U.S. has publicly gathered diplomatic suggestions over the internet. Equally significant, it explores ways of enriching public relations through collective wisdom to improve exchanges and tie-ups with a strategic ally on multifaceted topics. This new benchmark shows that U.S.-Taiwan relations are at an all-time high.

📈 Currently, the topic we are discussing is how to improve the U.S.-Taiwan economic and commercial partnership. There is no question in my mind that the Digital Dialogues is the best platform to share ideas and opinions on key issues at the heart of this vital aspect of the bilateral relationship. These include mutually beneficial strategies for managing potentially detrimental trade wars, bilateral trade agreement talks and U.S. incentives for firms to relocate manufacturing bases.

🔝 According to statistics from the Ministry of Finance, the U.S. is Taiwan’s only major export destination recording an increase in shipments during the first half of 2019. The 17.4 percent year-on-year rise is no mean feat given the instability of global markets.

🇺🇸 At the Select USA Investment Summit held by the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington last month, Taiwan’s delegation numbered more than 100. This was highest among all countries, indicating that many homegrown businesses are ahead of the curve and already moving to get a piece of potential-laden action.

🗣 It comes as no surprise, then, that U.S.-Taiwan trade and related matters will dominate the open forum I am hosting in mid-August to discuss and provide feedback on resonating ideas from the Digital Dialogues. The participation of officials from the AIT, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and relevant local ministries is certain to offer fascinating insights on issues impacting the Taiwan-U.S. economic and commercial ties, as well as the stability and prosperity of the Indo-Pacific.

🙋 I invite all and sundry to attend the event and help advance related participatory policymaking. Only through collaboration can we truly be more than the sum of our parts.