Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in San Francisco operates 2 regional centers, one in downtown San Francisco and the other in the city of Milpitas. Both centers serve the needs of overseas compatriots communities in Northern California, Nevada, and Utah. These two centers provide services for a region 275,000 square feet in land size, with a total population of 20 million, 960,000 of whom are overseas compatriots from Taiwan. Northern California has a mild climate year-round. Key metropolitan areas include state capital Sacramento in the north, Fresno in the middle, and the San Francisco Bay Area in the center. Agriculture, manufacturing, aerospace, oil production, natural gas, and cement production are the main industries.
The terrain of Nevada consists mainly of mountains and deserts. Carson City is the state's capital. There are about 5,000 overseas compatriots residing in the north of Reno and 42,000 living in the south of Las Vegas. Tourism is the main economy for the state of Nevada. Salt Lake City is the state capital of Utah with approx. 20,000 overseas compatriots. Major economic activities for Utah include mining, agriculture, and manufacturing.
Culture Center of TECO in San Francisco (Milpitas), otherwise simply referred to as "the Center", is mainly responsible for serving the new overseas communities in the south of San Francisco international airport, including Santa Clara, Milpitas, Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Alameda, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Los Gatos, Los Alto, Fresno, Modesto, and cities in the state of Nevada. The Center serves about 710,000 overseas compatriots including 30,000 Taiwanese descents.
Leading organizations in this region include the National Day Celebration Committee of the Republic of China – South S. F. Bay Area, Joint Alumni Association of Chinese Universities and Colleges in Northern California, Chinese Seniors United Association of Northern California, Senior Taiwanese Association of Northern California, Taiwanese American Federation of Northern California, South Bay Taiwanese Association of Northern California, Taiwanese Hakka Association of Northern California, Taiwan Benevolent Association of San Jose, Silicon Valley Chinese American Computer and Commerce Association, Taiwanese American Chamber of Commerce – Northern California, Taiwanese American Junior Chamber of Commerce – Northern California, Global Federation of Chinese Business Women – Northern California, Association of Northern California Chinese Schools, Northern California School Association for Languages of Taiwan, Alumni Association of Taiwan Universities of Northern California, Taiwanese and Chinese American Athletic Tournament of San Francisco Bay Area, Taiwanese Cultural and Sports Association, Northern California Taiwanese Medical Association, etc.
Because of these organizations' well-structured administration systems, frequent harmonious collaborations among the groups, and the availability of individuals willing to step up and lead, we are seeing the overseas compatriots community continue to grow and strive in the Northern California region.
This is especially true with groups like the Association of Northern California Chinese Schools. To expand the overseas Mandarin learning market, the OCAC is implementing the Taiwan Center for Mandarin Learning Establishment Program. Under the Program, we had assisted 5 overseas compatriot schools in the Bay Area set up Taiwan Centers for Mandarin Learning (TCML) as bases for teaching Mandarin to people aged over 18 and, importantly, for promoting its teaching with Taiwanese characteristics.
The Center also actively promotes bilateral commerce activities between the region and Taiwan. Typical programs include hosting seminars and delegations in various business topics and industries. The Center also thrives to provide Overseas Credit Guarantee Fund for overseas compatriot operated businesses looking to expand their existing businesses or to start a new one. In coordination with OCAC, the Center also hosts numerous seminars and live cooking demonstrations in Taiwanese culinary arts with top gourmet chefs visiting from Taiwan. Various Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce organizations also play an important role in providing a unifying platform for their members to share ideas, knowledge, information, experiences, connections, and resources. As such, new startups can flourish and existing businesses can increase their competitiveness in the marketplace.