Thu, Apr 19, 2012 - Page 11 News List

Sean Chen calls for easing of hiring limits on foreigners

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

The Executive Yuan may push for the easing of regulations on the recruitment of foreign professionals after Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) yesterday called a Cabinet meeting to discuss the nation’s brain drain.

Officials at the meeting discussed Taiwan’s top income tax bracket rate of 40 percent, which makes the country less attractive to foreign professionals than Singapore, where the top rate is 20 percent, Council for Economic Planning and Development Deputy Minister San Gee (單驥) said.

San said Chen had instructed the Ministry of Finance to study Singapore’s experience and deliberate on the possibility of reducing the rate.

The meeting was called in the wake of a recent speech by Singaporean Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, in which he cited the “Taiwan story” as a negative lesson to highlight the importance of attracting foreign talent.

Chen also asked the Council of Labor Affairs to review labor laws requiring at least two years of work experience for a person from abroad to work as a professional in Taiwan and a minimum wage of NT$47,971, San said.

Foreign students who would like to work after graduation should be exempted from the work experience and minimum wage requirements, he said.

However, Minister of Finance Christina Liu (劉憶如) refused to comment on whether the ministry would create a more favorable environment for foreign professionals.

“I have to discuss [the issue] more with related officials before making any comments,” Liu said.

Additional reporting by Amy Su

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