Thu, Jun 09, 2011 - Page 2 News List

France and Taiwan close in on working holidays agreement

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff Reporter

France and Taiwan are in the final stages of completing negotiations on a working holiday program, expected to be launched before the summer vacation begins, Patrick Bonneville, director of the Bureau Francais de Taipei, said yesterday.

Bonneville made the remarks on the sidelines of a press conference held to announce the name change of the French representative office in Taipei.

“We hope as soon as possible,” Bonneville said when he was asked to give an exact date for the launch.

CASUAL WORK

If the negotiations go as planned, France could become the seventh country to allow young Taiwanese to visit and supplement their income for their travels by taking on casual work, following Japan, Germany, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia and Canada.

Bonneville did not reveal an annual quota for the program.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs data shows that more than 10,000 Taiwanese head overseas on working holiday programs annually.

NAME CHANGE

The French representative office in Taiwan yesterday changed its name from the Institut Francais de Taipei to the Bureau Francais de Taipei, or the French Office in Taipei in English, to avoid confusion between its original name and the Institut Francais.

CULTURAL POLICY

The Institut Francais was created late last year as France’s new international agency for cultural policy with the aim of coordinating French cultural policy overseas in the domain of artistic exchange, including the performing arts, visual arts, architecture and the worldwide promotion of French literature, cinema, knowledge and ideas.

Bonneville said the services provided by his office to French compatriots in Taiwan and to Taiwanese remain unchanged.

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