Sat, Apr 17, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Taiwan, Canada sign working-holiday accord

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER, WITH CNA

Canada has become the fourth country to sign a working-holiday agreement with Taiwan, allowing young people to travel and work in each other's countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced yesterday.

According to the memorandum of understanding (MOU) on youth mobility signed in Ottawa on Thursday by the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei (CTOT) and Taiwanese Representative to Canada David Lee (李大維), Taiwanese and Canadians aged 18 to 35 who meet the requirements will be allowed to work while traveling in each other's countries on a multi-entry visa valid for up to one year.

The MOU is expected to come into effect on July 1.

A quota of 200 has been set for the first year of the program, said MOFA Spokesman Henry Chen (陳銘政), adding the number would increase over the next few years depending on the popularity of the program.

“Through this arrangement, Canadian and Taiwanese youth can gain a unique travel, work and life experience abroad, enriching their understanding of each other's cultures, “ CTOT Executive Director Scott Fraser said in a press release. “Such exchanges will also further strengthen the longstanding people-to-people ties between Canada and Taiwan.”

Statistics provided by Taiwan's Tourism Bureau showed that the number of Taiwanese nationals traveling to Canada plummeted to 61,893 last year from 112,413 in 2004.

Taiwan is the fourth country in the Asia-Pacific region to have made such arrangements with Canada, following Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong, Chen said.

Taiwan signed similar agreements with Australia and New Zealand in 2004 and with Japan last year. Chen said yesterday the existing working holiday programs are going smoothly, with more than 12,000 applicants — 600 to New Zealand, 2,000 to Japan and more than 10,000 to Australia — last year.

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