2016 Annual General Meeting
At the AGM outgoing Chairman Barkey delivered an annual report to members. Barkey is stepping down after serving two consecutive terms as chairman in 2015 and 2016 (the ECCT's constitution restricts a chairman's terms to a maximum of two years). Besides the chairman's report, ECCT Vice Chairman & Treasurer Olivier Rousselet presented a summary of the chamber's financials while a report was also presented by ECCT Executive Supervisor Martin Lindström. In addition, Madeleine Majorenko, Head of the European Economic and Trade Office, made some remarks.
In his presentation to members, ECCT Chairman Barkey reported that2016 was a very successful year for the chamber with frequent engagement with government ministries and agencies throughout the year, helping to further promote members' business interests. Membership rose to over 850 individual members and the quality and participation at events remained very high. A number of successful events were held and, in terms of advocacy, the chamber saw a similar high level of progress compared to 2015. Over 19% of issues raised in the 2016 Position Papers were either resolved or saw progress towards resolution.
Barkey noted that the ECCT was extremely active during the year, holding activities which included Premium Events, committee meetings and government visits. High profile activities included the Europe Day Dinner, which was attended by President Tsai Ing-wen and premium, special and committee events which attracted high profile guest speakers from Taiwan and Europe. ECCT members and the secretariat also arranged or participated in numerous conferences, seminars and forums in conjunction with government agencies from both Taiwan and Europe.
The chamber was proactive during 2016 in meeting with many high profile government officials. Dozens of meetings were held with government officials at the national level including Premier Lin Chuan. In addition, senior government officials attended several ECCT activities. Minister of Economic Affairs, Lee Chih-kung, for example, attended and spoke at several ECCT events during the year. As a nationwide association, the ECCT also continued to build relations with municipal governments across Taiwan. In 2016 the chamber arranged official visits to the Taichung, Taoyuan and Penghu.
Besides relations with the government in Taiwan, Barkey commented on the excellent cooperation the chamber continues to enjoy with European Economic and Trade Office in Taiwan, representatives of the European national trade offices and institutes, and the European Commission in Brussels. He reported that the ECCT's annual Open Door Mission had taken place from 21-23 November. A delegation of board directors, committee chairs and staff held three days of meetings with EC officials, European trade and industry groups. He highlighted that this year was the first time that the ECCT had been invited to give a presentation to representatives of 28 EU member states in the European Council in addition to meetings with senior officials from the European Commission in Brussels.
In his remarks Executive Supervisor Martin Lindström lauded the chamber's cooperation with authorities both in Taiwan and the EU, including the third successful year of the EU-Taiwan Business and Regulatory Cooperation (EBRC) Programme, which is funded and coordinated by the European Union and run by the ECCT. He noted that the seminars have been very useful to both Taiwan authorities and ECCT members by providing up-to-date information on European regulations and promoting the best European standards and practices in Taiwan.
In addition, Lindström highlighted the work of the ECCT's Low Carbon Initiative (LCI), which continues to see growing membership, increased cooperation with central and municipal governments and high profile events. He noted that the LCI is now an established and recognized flagship brand of the ECCT which has held several activities this year to champion European leadership in renewable energy technology. This is especially timely as the government has committed to increasing renewable energy to 20% of capacity by 2025. The LCI's activities have made the ECCT the go-to chamber on all aspects of renewables. In so doing, the chamber has opened up business opportunities for its members and local suppliers, created jobs in Taiwan and enhanced the ECCT's reputation as a progressive leader and promoter of low carbon development. He concluded that these developments all highlight the growing recognition and effectiveness of the ECCT as an organization.