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ECCT roundtable lunch with the Taipei City Government

On 24 August the ECCT hosted the annual ECCT-Taipei City Government (TCG) roundtable lunch. The event attracted around 150 guests including Mayor Ko, Deputy Mayors Lin Chin-rong and Chou Li-fang and 12 other senior TCG officials, 11 ECCT board directors, supervisors and many committee co-chairs. The event featured opening remarks by ECCT Chairman Bernd Barkey, a short speech by Mayor Ko and a Q&A session followed by open discussion between ECCT directors and members and city officials over lunch.

In his welcome remarks, ECCT Chairman Bernd Barkey noted that while this was the ECCT's first official open event with Mayor Ko, the annual ECCT-TCG roundtable lunch is a tradition that goes back more than 15 years. In addition the ECCT has partnered with the Taipei City Government to co-host numerous forums and participated in roundtable meetings to share ideas on subjects like sustainability and traffic safety. He also noted that both sides frequently work together to resolve business and quality of living issues.

In his opening remarks Mayor Ko stressed the importance of making the city an attractive place for doing business and as well a good place to live. In this regard he welcomed practical suggestions from ECCT members for improvements. As long as the suggestions are good and practical, the city would adopt them, he said.

After the mayor's opening remarks, the ECCT's Better Living committee Co-chair Tim Berge led a Q&A session to talk about some of the issues currently facing ECCT members. In answer to a question about traffic safety, the mayor said that the city adopts a scientifically-based approach to addressing the city's two traffic priorities: ensuring safety and efficiency. This approach starts with collecting and measuring data and using that to identify and focus on the most serious issues. For example, the city has used statistical analysis to determine which traffic intersections are the most dangerous (based on the number of traffic accidents) and which are the most congested and taken action to address the situation in these trouble spots. The action is then monitored and, after a six-month period, data is reviewed to the check results and take remedial action if necessary. The mayor also answered several other questions personally and referred others to senior officials present.

On a question about the frequency of meetings held by the Pharmaceutical Committee of Taipei City Hospital, city officials said they plan to increase the frequency to four meetings per year, in line with the ECCT's suggestion. City officials also answered questions about how to improve the city's attractiveness as a financial centre.

After the Q&A members were able to continue the conversation on specific issues together with TCG officials who were seated at various tables around the room. This gave members the chance to talk directly with officials about how to increase cooperation and discuss ideas for making Taipei City even better than it already is.