President Tsai named at No. 8 in Fortune’s top 50 leaders

President Tsai Ing-wen ranks eighth in Fortune's 2017 World's Greatest Leaders for her efforts to pursue economic reforms, bolster tourism from Southeast Asia and steer the nation's diplomacy, the U.S.-based magazine said March 23.

Tsai appears in the list of 50 leaders from the fields of art, business, government and philanthropy alongside figures such as U.S. philanthropist Melinda Gates in fourth; founder Jeff Bezos in fifth; U.S. Sen. John McCain in ninth; and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 10th. Theo Epstein, president of baseball operations for U.S. MLB team the Chicago Cubs, tops the rankings followed by mainland Chinese entrepreneur Jack Ma and Pope Francis, in that order.

According to the publication, Taiwan's first female president captured global headlines in December last year after engaging in a telephone conversation with then-U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, the first between the leaders of Taiwan and the U.S. for 37 years. During the call, which the magazine characterized as a bold move, they shared their views on key policy matters, including the need to promote economic development and boost national defense so citizens can enjoy better lives and increased security.

Fortune also outlined Tsai's commitment to pursuing economic reforms, highlighting her enactment of a new labor law that shortens the workweek from six to five days.

In addition, the magazine praised the president's efforts to diversify the nation's visitor sources, noting that she has sparked a tourism boom from Southeast Asia since her inauguration in May 2016.

According to the Office of Trade Negotiations under the Executive Yuan, the number of travelers from the 18 countries targeted under the Tsai administration's New Southbound Policy surged 42.8 percent year on year in January. A key component of the president's national development strategy, the policy seeks to deepen agricultural, business, cultural, education, trade and tourism links with the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states, six South Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand.

Fortune has published its World's Greatest Leaders ranking annually since 2014. Nominations come from staff members as well as a panel of expert advisers and organizations spanning academics, business, politics, science and the arts such as U.S. media entrepreneur Arianna Huffington, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, Harvard Business School and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Source: Taiwan Today