Chang said that if businesses aim to transform and upgrade, a different approach will be needed.
In view of the changes that are going on, the government should give a clearer explanation of how it intends to foster a labor force that is more capable of working in transnational, trans-regional and trans-sectoral environments. How does the government intend to attract overseas technical talent to Taiwan? How does it plan to rebuild Taiwan’s technical and vocational education and foster a middle-grade technical workforce? How is it going to get university professors out of a situation that has turned them into thesis-writing machines and encourage cooperation between business and academia? How will it ensure that young people in Taiwan are talented enough to find employment abroad, stand up, go out and earn good money in the big, wide world?
If Taiwan is really going to make a breakthrough this year, and more breakthroughs over the next two decades, the nation will need to propose clearer policies for developing manpower resources, and it will need to implement those policies more effectively. Those in government, and those who come after them, will all have to demonstrate vision and resolve in order to revive Taiwan’s competitive advantage.
Hong Chi-chang is chairman of the Taiwan Economy and Industry Association.
Translated by Julian Clegg