Taiwan placed 23rd in a global talent ranking this year, unchanged from last year, a study by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) showed, citing the nation’s need to improve its educational spending, stop a brain drain and attract foreign skilled personnel.
The annual survey aims to assess how individual economies develop, attract and retain talent to sustain the pool that enterprises employ to create long-term value by comparing their investment and development, appeal and readiness scores.
Taiwan ranked 23rd among 63 economies, the same as last year and in 2015. It lagged behind Hong Kong (12th) and Singapore (13th), but was ahead of Japan (31st), South Korea (39th) and China (40th), the report said.
“Taiwan achieved above-average rankings in all three factors, but demonstrated weakness in the ability to attract foreign professionals or reverse brain drain,” IMD World Competitiveness Center economist Jose Caballero told the Central News Agency.
The Lausanne, Switzerland-based institute found Taiwan wanting due to a continued brain drain, where it ranked 47th, and its ability to attract foreign highly skilled personnel, where it placed 44th.
Taiwan ranked 47th in the cost-of-living index, drawn from a basket of goods and services in the main city, the institute said.
In terms of public education expenditure, Taiwan ranked 46th, four notches down from last year, with its ranking on pupil-teacher ratio for secondary education slipping two notches to 45th, the report said.
The ranking of whether Taiwanese companies consider attracting and retaining talent a priority was 38th, it said.
These trends might lead to a shortage of skilled labor in the long run, Caballero said, suggesting that Taiwan spend more on education and take steps to address the brain drain.
In response, the National Development Council said in a statement that the government last year raised the minimum spending on education from 22.5 percent to 23 percent of the average government revenue over the past three years.
The Cabinet has also proposed legal revisions aimed at cutting tax rates for high-income earners from 45 percent to 40 percent, while the Legislative Yuan has eased rules governing stock dividend payouts so companies would have more leeway to retain talent, the council said.
The Ministry of Education has drawn up measures to downsize classroom size amid a population decline, it said.
The government has also provided scholarships and other incentives to encourage foreign students to study in Taiwan, it said.
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