The nation should consider improving its commitment to the "movement of natural persons" and should further liberalize practices in the field, a Taiwan official said in Geneva yesterday.
The "movement of natural persons" -- one of the service trade areas that members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) have strenuously tried to improve since the trade boy came into force in January 1995 -- refers to the entry and temporary stay of persons for the purpose of providing a service. It does not relate to persons seeking citizenship, permanent employment or permanent residence in a country.
Lin Chia-cheng (
Both Lin and Yen agreed that Taiwan should improve its commitment on the movement of natural persons and should voluntarily open its doors wider to foreign lawyers, doctors, accountants and architects, as part of the efforts to further liberalize the country's service sector.
Lin said that although the nation currently allows foreign lawyers and accountants to carry out some of their practices in Taiwan, they are not allowed to prepare accounts or certificates for audit, or work on architecture projects.
Lin noted that if the nation were to further liberalize short-term work by foreign lawyers, doctors, accountants and architects, it could trigger opposition and resistance from local practitioners in the short term. But he said that in the long run the opening would benefit the country's overall development.
Yen echoed Lin's remarks, saying that while gradual liberalization in the country's industrial sector has helped rev up the country's economic development and has increased its trade benefits, the service sector -- which constitutes 67 percent of Taiwan's gross domestic product -- has not been sufficiently liberalized to reflect the WTO's free-trade spirit.