2012–13 — A Year of Consolidation
I’m pleased to report that the months since the ATBC’s Annual General Meeting in June 2012 have seen a strong consolidation of the progress we made in 2011–12.
Our membership is increasing, our finances are in good shape and we have a strong National Executive committee and excellent relations with Australian and Taiwan governments.
I am confident we will continue to prosper, providing excellent service to our members and to Australia.
2012–13 ATBC Awards and Citations
The Third Sir Charles Court Award — Edward Chen
Inaugural Chairman’s Award for an Outstanding Contribution to ATBC — Margaret Wang
Ministry of Economic Affairs Medal — Ross Maddock
2012 National Export Award — Regional Based — Sunrice
The financial success of the 25th Joint Conference in September 2011 enabled us to take the big step of incorporating the Council. We did it with generous support from our National Sponsor, Clayton Utz; hearty thanks to Margaret Wang, Darren Fooks and their colleagues. Your enthusiasm and professionalism was infectious — and greatly appreciated.
26th Joint Conference
Of the many excellent ATBC events during the year, the 26th Joint Conference, 3 September 2012, Kaohsiung — the first in southern Taiwan for more than a decade — deserves particular mention. The Hon Craig Emerson, Minister for Trade and Competitiveness, took part, as did Dr Shih Yen-shiang, then Taiwan’s Minister for Economic Affairs. We appreciated and applauded Dr Emerson’s efforts in making it to Kaohsiung; his was the first visit to Taiwan by an Australian trade minister for more than a decade.
Attendances from Australia and Taiwan were strong. Dr Tsou Jou-chi, Chairman of China Steel Corporation (CSC), newly elected Chairman of our counterpart, the ROC-Australia Business Council (ROCABC), led the Taiwan delegation. I have had several discussions with Dr Tsou and feel optimistic that working with him will be extremely productive.
During the Conference, Dr Shih presented me with a Ministry of Economic Affairs Medal for contributions to business and economic relations. In accepting it I acknowledged the thirty years of teamwork between office bearers and members of the two councils that made my efforts as 7th Chairman of the ATBC so much easier — and afforded me so much gratification.
Dr Edward Chen Received the Third Sir Charles Court Award
On 6 September, two members of our National Executive, Mr Jason Lin, MIT Chartering and Mr Anker Hung, Minatek Pty Ltd, hosted a large dinner party in Taipei in honour of Dr Edward Chen, who had recently stood down as Chairman of the ROCABC and of the Taiwan Power Corporation. At the dinner, attended by Mr Kevin Magee, Australia’s Representative in Taiwan
and Dr Gary Lin, General Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) and a former Representative at Canberra, we presented the third ‘Sir Charles Court Award’ to Edward, for outstanding contributions to Australia-Taiwan relations.
Let me take this opportunity to thank Jason and Anker for their continuing generous support and wise counsel.
Other Events and Activities — A Few Highlights
Following the 26th Joint Conference, the CEO and I were guests at the 60th Anniversary celebrations of the China National Association for Industry and Commerce (CNAIC), now chaired by Mr Kenneth Low, Chairman of the Industrial Bank of Taiwan. Many of the captains of Taiwan industry took part, as well as distinguished guests from around the world. Taiwan’s Vice President, Mr Wu Den-yih, and the ATBC’s old friend, Mr Vincent Siew, delivered addresses.
Thanks to Mr Ian Williams, Partner & Ms Jennifer Fu, Senior Associate of Ashurst, for hosting the marvelous end-of year cocktail at your magnificent Sydney offices!
Early this year, Mr Stanley Tsai, Taipower Bengalla — one of our Taiwan corporate members — hosted a visit to the mine site in the Hunter Valley for Taiwan’s Representative Katherine Chang and a small group, including ATBC members. Thank you, Stanley, for an interesting look at one of Taiwan’s major investments in Australia.
And to Ms Margaret Wang and Mr Darren Fooks (again!) for the Brisbane Business Luncheon in March, at which His Excellency Ambassador Ravdan Bold of Mongolia was an amusing speaker with a compelling story to tell.
Business Breakthrough of the Year
CSC’s investment in Hancock Prospecting’s Roy Hill iron ore project was the stand-out.
ATBC has been working for at least two decades to encourage Taiwan investment in Australian resources and infrastructure. Four years ago we persuaded the then Vice President, Mr Vincent Siew, to encourage his country’s largest companies to look harder for foreign assets in the minerals and energy sectors. CSC’s efforts have now born early fruit.
I am delighted that Roy Hill-Hancock Prospecting is among the many new members joining the ATBC over the past year.
Closer to home, congratulations to Mr Milton Bazley, Sunrice, for your company’s win in the 2012 National Export Awards!
Relations with Australian governments
I’m very happy with our relations with the federal government and its agencies and officials. We’ve had strong ministerial interest and support including, at the federal level, from the Hon Craig Emerson MP, Minister for Trade and Competitiveness and the Hon Martin Ferguson MP, until recently Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism.
Following Martin’s departure from the ministry, the CEO and I called on him to convey the ATBC’s gratitude for his promotion of Australian interests in Taiwan and the patronage he extended to the Council.
Our teamwork with officials in the Departments of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Resources, Energy and Tourism (RET) has never been stronger. We should acknowledge the leadership of Mr Kevin Magee at the Australian Office, Taipei and Mr John Langtry in Canberra — and the hard work and warm friendship of their departmental colleagues.
We worked effectively with officials from the RET to arrange for the 2012 session of the Joint Energy and Minerals Trade and Investment Consultations (JEMTIC) to be held in conjunction with our 26th Joint Conference at Kaohsiung. We thank in particular Ms Margaret Sewell and Mr Demus King.
An old friend of ours, Mr Martin Walsh, began mid 2012 as Senior Trade Commissioner at Taipei and has been in regular touch with us. We value the relationship with Austrade’s offices at Taipei and Kaohsiung; both made good contributions to the success of the 26th Joint Conference.
I am delighted that Mr Bruce Gosper, the Managing Director of the Australian Trade Commission, is attending our AGM Luncheon today as a guest of honour. To the best of my knowledge, it’s the first time such a senior Austrade person has taken part in one of our events.
We’ve made big strides in our relations with the New South Wales Government, thanks in no small part to the efforts of the Member for Hornsby, Mr Matt Kean MP (yes, our Hon Treasurer is his uncle!). We’ve had good meetings and discussions with the Deputy Premier, the Hon
Andrew Stoner MP and several of his ministerial colleagues. We are working with them on arrangements for the 27th Joint Conference, tentatively scheduled for October this year; one of the possible venues is Sydney.
Our CEO, Ms Ching-Mei Tuan, working with Mr Matt Kean and Mr Joseph Chow, who heads the Taiwan office in Sydney, played a strong role in the establishment this month of the NSW Taiwan Parliamentary Friendship Group. In noting this milestone we also acknowledge the efforts of Ms Sylvia Huang, a long-term staff member at the Taiwan office in Sydney. Sylvia’s contributions to Australia-Taiwan relations are seldom recognized but equaled by those of few others! Thank you Sylvia.
With the support of Mr Darren Fooks, Clayton Utz, early in the life of the Newman government in Queensland I was able to meet Mr Tim Nicholls, Treasurer, to encourage him to continue the strong support for the ATBC offered by earlier state governments.
In Western Australia we have made steady progress in rebuilding links with the state government and expanding the membership base. For this I am delighted to recognize the advice and assistance of Mr Simon Johnson, Western Australian Department of Agriculture and Food, a long-time member of our National Executive. Former ATBC Chairman Mr Ken Court
AM also provided advice and introductions. Perth is a possible venue for the 27th Joint Conference.
Relations with Taiwan Governments
With thoroughly professional assistance from Ambassador Katharine Chang and Dr Lee Guann-jyh at the Taiwan office in Canberra — and their colleagues there and in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane — it has not been at all difficult to maintain and even strengthen our relations with their home government.
Ambassador Chang and Dr Lee helped us with meetings last year with senior people, including the Vice President, Mr Wu Den-yih.
Dr Timothy Yang, until late last year Minister for Foreign Affairs and Dr Gary Lin at MoFA, as well as our old friend Mr IM Tong at MoEA, were all tremendously supportive. Many members will recall that in the late 90s and early 00s Mr Timothy Yang was an outstanding Taiwan Representative at Canberra; he now heads the Office of the President.
Holding the 26th Joint Conference at Kaohsiung helped us consolidate our access and influence with city government leaders and officials — as well as with outstanding local business leaders.
The Mayor of Kaohsiung, Madame Chen Chu, delivered the conference Opening Address and we had productive discussions with Vice Mayors Ms Liu Shyh-fang and Mr Li Yung-teh.
I spoke Wednesday 20th June 2012 on behalf of the business community at the 2012 ‘bilateral economic consultations’ (BEC) held at Canberra by DFAT and the MoEA. The annual BECs provide opportunities to raise members’ issues with senior officials working to improve the public sector infrastructure supporting trade and investment between the two countries. Thanks to those members who provided input for my 2012 presentation.
There has been increased interest in membership, with eight new members joining since the last AGM.
National Executive Committee
A warm ‘thank you’ to our two outstanding Vice Chairmen, Mr Mark Dorney, RedBridge Grant Samuel and Mr Anker Hung, Minatek, the Hon Treasurer, Mr John Kean OAM and to all the committee members.
During the year, Mr Robert Bell replaced Ms Catherine McDowell as the ANZ representative. Thank you Catherine and welcome Robert!
I also record my appreciation for the valuable mentoring and encouragement given to me by the Rt Hon Ian Sinclair AC, Immediate Past Chairman and Mr Lindsay C Hamilton AM, Vice Chairman Emeritus and Honorary Life Member.
Ms Ching-Mei Tuan, CEO, again was a tower of strength. Her knowledge of Taiwan and the Taiwan community in Australia is a great asset for the ATBC, as is her dedication and attention to detail. She deserves much credit, especially for our greatly increased profile with the New South Wales government and the Taiwan business migrant community.
Mr Cliff Barker, Senior Advisor, gave wise counsel and was generous with his time.
Mr Travis Wu, Senior IT Manager, was always there when we needed him. Thank you Travis for continuing to give generously of your time and professional expertise.
Ms Marie-Alice McLean Dreyfus, who joined the Intern Program at the end of 2011, has for the last several months been based in Taiwan, continuing to support Ching-Mei and me from a distance of eight thousand kilometers.
Thank you Marie-Alice! With the backing of the ATBC, Marie-Alice is about to begin work experience at CSC Kaohsiung.
I have mentioned some of the generous sponsorships and other forms of support that members and friends extended to ATBC during the year under review. Special thanks are due to Ben Way and Macquarie Bank, for sponsoring the Annual General Meeting and lunch this year –
indeed, every year for more than a decade!
A list of all our 2012–13 sponsors and supporters is appended. Once again, on behalf of all ATBC members, I offer our sincere thanks.
Inaugural Chairman’s Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the ATBC
To supplement the Sir Charles Court Award for Outstanding Contributions to Australia-Taiwan Relations, we have decided to establish an annual Chairman’s Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the ATBC.
There were many strong contenders for the Inaugural Chairman’s Award, but no-one made a more strategic contribution than the winner — Ms Margaret Wang! She was instrumental in persuading Clayton Utz to become a National Sponsor and in driving through the incorporation of the ATBC.
Congratulations and warm thanks and best wishes from all of us, Margaret!
28 May 2013