Ministry seeks to assuage fears over service trade pact

RESTRICTIONS::On fears the cross-strait deal may mean an influx of workers from China, the MOEA said only some managerial staff were covered by it

Staff writer, with CNA

Tue, Jul 02, 2013 - Page 14

The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said yesterday that the recently signed cross-strait service trade pact does not involve the government easing restrictions on workers from China and does not expand the number of Chinese managerial personnel who can come to Taiwan.

“The pact signed last month will have no effect on the nation’s employment,” Bureau of Foreign Trade Director-General Chang Chun-fu (張俊福) said amid concerns that the pact could impact the employment market.

Chang said that under the deal, investors, managerial personnel and professionals with special skills can enter Taiwan to provide services, but added that a management mechanism will be in place to oversee them.

He said the service trade deal does not involve blue-collar workers and will not have an effect on immigration or permanent residence issues.

Under the agreement, staff of a multinational enterprise can be transferred within the group for a first stay of three years, and can then apply for an unlimited extension of stay, which has become a source of concern.

Addressing misgivings about this part of the deal, Chang said that it refers only to Chinese managerial staff in a multinational firm being sent to a Taiwanese branch, and does not cover a wider range of Chinese workers.