Wed, May 25, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Labor force increase to slow, then stop in 20 years: CEPD

CNA , Taipei

The number of workers aged 15 to 65 will stop increasing in about 20 years as the population ages, and relevant government agencies have begun reviewing the current retirement and pension systems to tackle the demographic changes.

According to the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD), the number of Taiwanese workers is estimated to begin posting zero growth in 2024 or 2025.

forward thinking

It is an urgent need for the government to begin start dealing with a foreseeable labor shortage arising from an aging population amid declining birth rates, CEPD officials said.

To serve that end, the CEPD is planning to take measures to increase the nation's labor force participation rate, lift the current retirement age limit and modify the pension system, officials said.

To offset a continuously falling birth rate, the CEPD is considering luring manpower and labor through enhanced international exchanges, such as easing regulations on immigration to meet domestic demand for workers, officials said.

Citing a UN report that serves as a reference for the CEPD as it reviews Taiwan's population policy, they said that knowledge-based economies and international migration will be the world's major trends in the future.

foreign brides

As Taiwan is bracing for more foreign brides from China and Southeast Asian countries, the UN report is of great help to the government in terms of immigrants' affairs and protection, they said.

However, they also said that international migration is not a panacea for a country with an aging population due to the many contentious issues that may arise.

According to the report, in 2002, as much as US$130 billion in remittances were carried by international migrants to their host countries, some US$79 billion of which was remitted to developing countries, they noted, adding that migrants also sent home money in remittances.

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