Wed, Sep 04, 2002 - Page 3 News List

Mongolia office to issue visas

TIES THAT BIND The Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Katharine Chang said yesterday that prospective Tawanese visitors to Mongolia don't need to apply for a visa

By Tsai Ting-i  /  STAFF REPORTER WITH CNA

Taiwan's representative office in Mongolia has consular functions and can issue visas to Mongolian citizens intending to visit Taiwan, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Katharine Chang (張小月) said yesterday.

Chang said that the Mongolian representative office in Taipei, to be opened in the near future, will also have consular functions, but she added that prospective Taiwanese visitors to Mongolia will not need to apply for a visa.

Taiwan announced the establishment of a representative office in the Mongolian capital of Ulan Bator on Monday, with Huang Ching-hsiung (黃清雄), formally a senior staff member at the Taipei Mission in South Korea, as the first de facto ambassador to Mongolia.

Hereafter, Chang said, the two sides will conduct exchanges based on the principle of reciprocity. In her view, she said, Mongolia has rich natural resources and has great potential for economic development. Chang also said that in the future, the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) would consider importing workers from Mongolia.

Chang added that relations between Taiwan and Mongolia are long-standing ones but that due to a combination of complex historical and political factors, there had been a void in bilateral exchanges.

From now on though, she said the two sides would have an effective framework for the development of bilateral cooperation.

Taiwan's newly revised regulations governing relations between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait no longer treat Mongolia as part of China. In the future, Chang said, travel papers for Mongolian citizens wishing to visit Taiwan and other relevant consular affairs would be handled by the foreign ministry.

CLA Chairperson Chen Chu (陳菊), who visited the country in July, welcomed the establishment of the representative offices, saying it would make it easier to import Mongolian workers.

Kuo Fang-yu (郭芳煜), director-general of the council's Employment and Vocational Training Administration, explained yesterday that the council had reached a consensus with the Mongolian government last month on introducing Mongolian workers.

"As soon as the Department of Health and the National Police Administration complete the mechanisms for disease and security control, Taiwan will be able to import Mongolian workers.

Health officials explained that the Mongolian government would need to submit a list of qualified hospitals that offer credible medical reports on workers wishing to come to Taipei.

The National Police Administration is establishing a system with Mongolian authorities to confirm the criminal records of Mongolian workers. People who have criminal records in their home countries are banned from working in Taiwan.

Kao emphasized that importing Mongolian workers would increase Taiwan's sources of foreign workers, although it would continue to limit the number of imported workers to about 300,000.

Taiwan has signed formal agreements with five countries to import workers, including Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam.

A formal deal with Mongolia would require Cabinet approval.

Mongolia so far hasn't signed any formal agreements to export its workers.

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