Council of Labor Affairs Chair-woman Chen Chu (
Chen made the remarks while meeting with a visiting Thai delegation, led by Vice Minister of Labor and Social Welfare Apai Chantanajulaka.
The delegation arrived in Tai-wan on Thursday to seek a breakthrough in the stalled nego-tiations over the pact, which is aimed at protecting Thais intending to work in Taiwan from being exploited by manpower agents on both sides.
It is the first official Thai delegation to visit Taiwan since talks on the labor agreement were stalled in late August.
"When the circumstances mature, I'm willing to travel to Thailand at an official invitation to witness the signing of the long-delayed labor agreement," Chen said.
She was originally scheduled to visit Thailand in late August to attend an annual bilateral labor affairs conference and witness the signing of the hiring agreement. However, Thai authorities denied her visa application. She canceled her travel plans and announced an indefinite postponement of the signing of the labor pact.
Thailand later offered an official apology to Taiwan for its handling of Chen's visa application. It has also since replaced its labor chief and disciplined several other officials.
Taiwan is Thailand's largest labor export market. Some 120,000 Thais are now legally working in Taiwan. At the moment, each Thai worker has to pay 200,000 baht in brokerage fees.
Thai Labor Minister Suwat Liptapananlop said earlier this month that Taipei has suspended issuance of work permits for Thai applicants since the visa row arose.
With more than 2,000 prospective workers waiting to come to Taiwan, the Thai labor department has taken the initiative to send a high-level delegation to Taipei.
The mission is composed of officials from the Thai labor and foreign affairs departments.
After Chen's meeting with the delegation, a Council of Labor Affairs official said Taiwan has felt Thailand's goodwill and sincerity to resolve the labor pact issue.
"We believe that the accord can be signed in the near future," he added.
The Philippines and Vietnam have already signed direct-hiring pacts with Taiwan to protect their citizens from manpower agents who charge high brokerage fees.