Since his visit to Taiwan in August last year, Ray Kemper, manager of International Development at the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce, has been seeking ways to encourage local companies to become interested in that country’s growing economy.  When Ted Hoagland, regional director of Sprint’s southern division, asked him of ways that they might work together to promote international trade, the idea of a videoconference between Taipei and Atlanta quickly came up in their discussion.

Held last week, the 45?minute conference at Sprint’s headquarters building near Cumberland Mall, allowed local businesspeople to learn more about opportunities in Taiwan from personnel at the American Institute of Taiwan (AIT), a surrogate embassy for the U.S., which does not have official diplomatic relations with Taiwan.

During the conference, the chief of AIT’s commercial division, Ms. Ying Price, reviewed the reasons for success of Japanese companies in Taiwan, including:  thorough research of potential opportunities, confidence in the quality of their products, service agreements and long term commitments.

Because of the predominance of small to medium?sized companies on the island, however, Taiwan’s economy promotes a fast?paced business environment and an inducement to innovate that Americans should find appealing, she said.  At the same time, Taiwanese firms appreciate a greater willingness on the part of U.S. firms to allow technology transfers in comparison to the Japanese, she added.  And an intense interest in the U.S., she said, is evident in the desire of many Taiwanese to visit here.

Several commercial officers flanking Ms. Ying on the panel spoke of the demand for products and services in the environmental, energy, telecommunications and aerospace sectors.  Sprint’s leading?edge technology then enabled the audience in Atlanta to ask questions of the panelists.

Following the videoconference portion of the program, several individuals spoke on various aspects of doing business in Taiwan.  They were  Stanley Kao, director general of the Coordination Council for North American Affairs; Raymond Lo, president, Lo Brothers & Associates; David Yu, chairman, Summit National Bank; Li?Fu Chen, counsel, Arnall, Golden & Gregory; Bill Weidenbach, president, Weidenbach and Associates; Philip Chen and Dr. Jing?Yea Yang of Weston International, an environmental firm located in West Chester, Pa.

Ms. Price may be reached in Taiwan by calling 886?2?720?1550 or by fax at 886?2?757?7162.  Ray Kemper may be reached by calling (404) 378?8000 or by fax at (404) 378?3397. For more information call Beth Payne, business service manager, by telephone at (404) 859?5246 or by fax at (404) 859?5220.