The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago (TECO-Chicago), overseen by the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States , serves Taiwan citizens in the Midwestern United States and the interests of the Republic of China (Taiwan). Since 1979, TECO-Chicago has functioned as the Midwest regional branch of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States, which is located in Washington, D.C.
Director General Baushuan Ger
Mr. Baushuan Ger assumed office as Director General of TECO in Chicago on November 30, 2011.
Taiwan is one of the most prosperous, democratic, and politically mature countries in the world. Taiwan values the principles of democracy, free speech, human rights, religious freedom, humanitarianism, and market economics, which are hallmarks of the United States of America. As a direct consequence, the two countries' reciprocal commercial ties are expanding while cultural exchanges and agreements are flourishing. The Taiwan provincial government has established sister-state relations with the majority of states in the U.S. Midwest, including Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. More than a dozen cities and counties in the Midwest have established sister-city or sister-county relations with their counterparts in Taiwan.
In addition, one or both houses of the state legislatures of Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin have passed resolutions supporting Taiwan's participation in the World Health Organization or in the United Nations. To promote bilateral trade, the state of Indiana set up a trade office in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan.
According to figures of the Institute of International Education, more than 3,600 students from Taiwan are enrolled in U.S. institutions of higher education in the Midwest. These students and scholars contribute to the academic, cultural and commercial life of the communities where they live, and often spur innovative research and developments in their fields.
In the economic arena, Taiwan has grown to become America's eighth- largest trading partner globally, and the sixth-largest foreign market of U.S. agricultural and forestry products. Taiwan is the world's third-leading maker of information-technology products, an area of great importance to American businesses, government, and institutions.
Total two-way trade in 2003 between the United States and Taiwan reached US$49.09 billion. It is estimated that total commercial transactions between the two countries (including trade, investment, foreign study, and tourism) provide about 800,000 job opportunities in the United States every year. Clearly Taiwan and the United States have a stake in each other's economic prospects and future success and stability.
Among the major exports from the Midwest region to Taiwan are industrial machinery, electronic and electrical equipment, agricultural products, chemicals, transportation equipment, rubber, and assorted other products. Major imports from Taiwan to the U.S. Midwest include computers and their peripheral products, semi-conductors and integrated circuitry, telecommunications products, textiles and apparel, and rubber products.
Agricultural goodwill missions from Taiwan have visited the United States several times in the last decade and signed purchase agreements for billions of dollars in U.S. agricultural products, including those grown in the U.S. Midwest. In recent years Taiwan agricultural goodwill missions have visited the Midwest every two years and were well-received by state officials, lawmakers, and growers. In 2002, delegations visited Minnesota, Illinois and Iowa and signed intent agreements to buy over two years Minnesota-grown wheat and corn and soybeans grown in Illinois and Iowa for an estimated combined worth of more than US$300 million.
The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Chicago will continue its efforts to expand and strengthen the economic, cultural, and other ties to the U.S. Midwest, to enhance mutual cooperation and security between Taiwan and the United States far into the 21st century. Not only do these relations and efforts serve the goals and interests of both of our peoples, but also the greater cause of stability, security, peace, and economic development in the Asia-Pacific region.