Talent flows are a fact of a deregulated global society, and the point is how to attract talented people and to convince our own to stay in the country. Yes, salary is a key factor.
However, the quality of working and living environments, and whether workers can expect to be respected and treated fairly here would also affect their willingness to stay, to recruit new blood and develop a sense of loyalty for their jobs.
Fifth, the squabbles between the blue and green camps, and the fact that people are finding it difficult to differentiate between Taiwan and China, given the government’s “one China” principle and its pro-China cross-strait policies, are making the situation worse.
People are attracted by China’s rise, salary flexibility, and the encouragement by Taiwanese businesspeople there, so Taiwanese talent is continuously relocating to China, turning it into the biggest attraction of Taiwanese talent in the world.
As many large companies have made the move to China, it is becoming increasingly difficult for Taiwan to attract world-class talent. As the talent flow is all one way, the result is a “hollowing out of talent.”
To remedy the above problem, Taiwan first needs to build its own “identity” in the international community.
It then needs to create an environment beneficial to the operations of world-class enterprises.
It should encourage Taiwanese companies to return and reward international ones that establish factories and branches here. If that happens, outstanding talent worldwide would certainly come flooding in.
Tsong Tien-tzou is a member of the Academia Sinica.
Translated by Eddy Chang