Thu, Feb 05, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Businesses call for looser labor policy

By Jerry Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

China-based Taiwanese businesspeople yesterday told the Ministry of Economic Affairs they are willing to return and invest in Taiwan if the government loosens its foreign labor policy to help lower costs.

Alex Lee (李茂盛), head of the Taiwan Merchant Association in Shanghai (上海市台商協會), said labor costs are the primary concern for most China-based Taiwanese businesses, which have refused to relocate their operations to Taiwan as doing so would increase their expenses.

Lee said the government should set up a special zone for repatriating China-based businesses and allow them to hire more foreign workers to cut costs and enhance product competitiveness.

“It would be helpful if the government could allow companies within the special zone to hire half foreign workers and half domestic workers,” Lee said, adding that foreign workers’ wages should not be regulated under minimum wage laws.

Chang Han-wen (張漢文), president of the Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises on the Mainland (全國台灣同胞投資企業聯誼會) said the government’s policies were not carefully planned because companies from different industries have different needs.

Vice Minister of Economic Affairs John Deng (鄧振中) said “the ministry will provide customized service to individual companies to cater to their special needs, and this will be one of our important tasks this year.”

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