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Thunderbird School to collaborate on propelling semiconductor, technology sectors in Taiwan

Taiwan Going Global Initiative launched in partnership with StanShih Foundation, Soochow University


Three men holding a banner with Mandarin writing on it.

On Wednesday, July 26, in Taipei City, Taiwan, (from left) Sanjeev Khagram, director general and dean of Thunderbird School of Global Management at ASU, Stan Shih, founder of Acer Group and chairman of the StanShih Foundation, and Wei-Ta Pan, president of Soochow University, jointly signed a letter of agreement to proactively address the demand for global management and professional talent in Taiwan's semiconductor and technology industries as they expand around the world. Photo courtesy Thunderbird School of Global Management/ASU

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July 27, 2023

Taiwan is going global across a number of industries led by its world-leading semiconductor industry ecosystem, which is expanding into Japan, Europe and the United States, specifically Arizona.

However, the future shortage of global professional talent in Taiwan poses a significant challenge.

To address this issue, Stan Shih, founder of Acer Group and chairman of the StanShih Foundation, has selected Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University and Soochow University to launch the Taiwan Going Global Initiative.

The aim is to contribute to Taiwan's enterprise globalization efforts and create value not only for Taiwan, but the world.

On July 26, Shih, along with Sanjeev Khagram, director general and dean of Thunderbird at ASU, and Wei-Ta Pan, president of Soochow University, jointly signed a letter of agreement to proactively address the demand for global management and professional talent in Taiwan's semiconductor and technology industries as they expand around the world.

Shih stated that due to geopolitical considerations, Taiwan's semiconductor and broader technology industry ecosystem has further extended its reach to the United States, Europe and Japan. While this enhances Taiwan's national strength, it also brings forth the imminent problem of insufficient global management talent and capabilities.

Shih said that when Acer was promoting the internationalization of its operations, the company collaborated with Thunderbird through the Acer Foundation in the early 2000s to cultivate multinational management talent in Taiwan. Many senior executives from the Acer Group and other enterprises participated in the program, resulting in the development of numerous international management talents.

Thunderbird, which is ranked No. 1 in the world for international trade by QS International Trade Rankings 2023, will contribute by providing executive educational programs on global leadership and management topics, which are among its internationally recognized core strengths.

To promote this collaborative project, Khagram visited Taiwan with the intention of deepening the cooperation between Taiwanese enterprises and the academic community.

“With the launch of this initiative, we envision a transformative path forward for Taiwan's semiconductor and technology companies and Taiwan as a country," Khagram said. "This collaboration between the StanShih Foundation, Thunderbird School of Global Management at ASU and Soochow University is more than just an initiative; it's a commitment to empowering Taiwanese leaders, managers and employees to thrive on the global stage.

“Our tailored executive education offerings will not only cultivate high-level international management talent but also bridge the cultural gap, facilitating foreign employees' seamless adaptation to the Taiwanese context.”

Previous Thunderbird executive education programming has provided organizations and individuals around the world with a wide range of custom learning experiences. These custom programs have helped sharpen performance and improve organizational capacity at global institutions that require executive programming tailored to their employees or constituent group.

Recently, the Financial Times Executive Education rankings for 2023 recognized Thunderbird for its exceptional delivery of custom programs, placing the school at No. 20 in the world

Thunderbird custom programs have been delivered to government officials in Oman, chemical companies in Saudi Arabia, global health care organizations in the United States and Germany, public and commercial entities in Indonesia, and now, most recently, in Taiwan’s semiconductor and technology industry.

During the signing event, Shih emphasized that Taiwan's domestic market is limited, and therefore, to increase the value it can create, Taiwan must internationalize to make greater contributions.

“The key to internationalization lies in talent, which is essential for effectively implementing Taiwan's values. However, the ability to internationalize requires long-term planning, and currently, Taiwan's talent pool is insufficient,” Shih said.

For this reason, Shih called for enterprises to deploy early and train more international management talent, especially for Taiwanese businesses expanding their manufacturing bases overseas or targeting foreign markets.

“(Companies) should adopt a mindset of cooperation and establish mechanisms for value creation and balanced interests with local partners," Shih said "Furthermore, they should fulfill the responsibility of being global citizens, believing that this approach will undoubtedly help Taiwanese enterprises become the best possible partners abroad."

Interested enterprises are encouraged to contact Helen Wu, senior director of global partnerships and operations at Thunderbird School of Global Management, at Helen.Wu@thunderbird.asu.edu to learn more and get involved. For more information about Thunderbird’s executive education programs, visit thunderbird.asu.edu/executive-education.

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