Chairman's View – Making up for lost time
Message from the chairman
By Giuseppe Izzo
The first half of 2020 has been challenging for all of us. We have all been affected in some way by the coronavirus pandemic. Some of our loved ones have been infected or taken by the disease. People in healthcare and essential services have endured great hardship and risked their lives to keep the rest of us safe. Some of our companies have been devastated by the drop in economic activity on account of global lockdowns while all of us have had to adjust to a world almost without global travel and disruptions to business operations and supply chains.
As I have said many times over the past few months, we are lucky to be in Taiwan during the worst healthcare crisis of our lifetimes. Thanks to early, decisive and proportionate actions taken by the government, Taiwan has avoided the worst of the potential healthcare outcomes as witnessed in Europe, the United States and elsewhere. And, for us in the business community, because authorities and businesses took control of the situation early, our operations have been subject to minimal disruptions compared to our colleagues and counterparts in most other countries. For keeping us safe and in business, we owe the government, healthcare and essential workers of Taiwan a great debt of gratitude.
Many of our members have been involved in global relief efforts during the pandemic, both directly or indirectly. However, the greatest contribution we can make to the recovery effort is to do what we do best: keeping our businesses running as sustainably as possible, keeping people employed and contributing to the economy.
For our part, we at the ECCT are doing our best to get back to as close to normal as is possible under the circumstances. Since the government lifted restrictions on large gatherings, we have held a number of events with prominent speakers including Wang Mei-hua, then deputy minister (and since promoted to minister) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and our annual lunch with Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-jo. It has been encouraging to see so many members eager to come out and meet together in person again.
We are now making up for lost time and the second half of the year will see many more events that had to be postponed in the first half due to the pandemic. We have lunches with two ministers and former Vice President Chen Chien-jen, as well as several committee lunches and a Happy Hour evening coming up in July and August. Then, our most important annual event, the Europe Day Dinner will be held on 2 September. In the meantime, our committees have begun work on preparing their 2021 position papers, according to our normal annual schedule.
At this time of year, it is customary to wish members a pleasant summer holiday. Most of us will be spending the summer in Taiwan this year. I hope you will have at least some time off to relax and appreciate the important things in life and to enjoy what Taiwan has to offer. I hope you all stay healthy and safe and I look forward to seeing many of you at our events.
European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan