Why 11th Fleet? Why Taiwan?
By Mark Hsu
There is a structural change taking place in our world today that will greatly impact how we live and work. While the physical infrastructure underpinning digitization continues to blaze forward, professional services catering to the “Future of Work” has lagged, especially in Asia.
11th Fleet’s mission is to make Asia more accessible to the rest of the world starting with our home base in Taiwan. While Taiwan has made great strides over the past decade in internationalizing itself, navigating Taiwan as an outsider may often feel “buggy”. Similarly, when Taiwan tries to reach out to the world, the message often gets lost in translation or sadly, just awkward.
Taiwan also has its own structural challenges. Its population is aging and declining; the gap between the haves and have nots is widening; and its urban-rural gap is wider than its peer economies. In addition, Taiwan’s extreme conservatism and risk aversion, the Herculean burden as the torch bearer of 5,000 years of Chinese history and its insecurities as an adolescent nation-state, further convolute and complicate its situation.
Most of the world sees Taiwan as an economy that has punched above its weight in technology and the semiconductor industry and more recently, a nation that successfully stood down Covid. However, missing from this narrative is an untold story of how Taiwan has transformed into a compassionate society — Taiwan has largely eliminated poverty, all of its residents including non-citizens receive universal health insurance, senior citizens receive UBI and education level is among the highest in the developed world. Politically, Taiwan has made the successful transition from an authoritarian regime to a full democracy without bloodshed. This is especially noteworthy when we see what has been happening around the Asia-Pacific region in recent years, from Hong Kong to Thailand to Myanmar. Democratic values do not come naturally and in most instances, not without bloodshed.
Even more deserving of recognition is the transformation that Taiwan has undergone in the last quarter century, since Taiwan first ushered in direct Presidential elections in 1996. Since then, Taiwan has continued to evolve, mature and fine tune its democratic values to become a truly liberal, egalitarian and inclusive society. The fact that Taiwan is the first Asian country to embrace marriage equality, provides universal health insurance, and have open immigration policies — today, 5% of the residents of Taiwan are foreign nationals, are testaments to the aforementioned values.
To illustrate how far Taiwan has come, within a time span of 1.5 generations, Taiwan has gone from no free elections to electing first-generation naturalized citizens as legislators. The speed and the peaceful manner that Taiwan has undertaken this transition is perhaps both unheralded and unequaled elsewhere in the world.
Because of their unique history, the Taiwanese people have needed to be innovative, adaptable and resilient — the qualities that are most critical in today’s knowledge economy. Coupled with Taiwan’s strategic location in Asia and its proximity to half of the world’s population, we believe Taiwan makes for an ideal place to locate your regional talent hub.
If you want to have a conversation about how Taiwan can help your company, let’s grab coffee. We promise you won’t be disappointed!
LinkedIn Page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/11thfleet