Council of Labor Affairs Minister Pan Shih-wei (潘世偉) is to become head of the soon-to-be formed Ministry of Labor Affairs, the Executive Yuan announced yesterday.
In line with a government reorganization plan, the council will be upgraded to a ministry on Monday.
Pan, 58, holds a doctorate in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University in the US and is an academic-turned-government official.
He wrote the labor policy for the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) ticket of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and former vice president Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) in the 2008 presidential election and later became deputy minister of the labor affairs council.
Pan took over his current post on Sept. 28, 2012, when Jennifer Wang (王如玄) resigned after an uproar over her proposal to raise the minimum wage.
He is planning to push for an occupational injury insurance act, a labor education act and a dispatch workers protection act this year.
In other Cabinet news, the Executive Yuan on Tuesday said that Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Liang Kuo-hsin (梁國新) has been named an adviser to the Cabinet.
The Cabinet will take advantage of Liang’s expertise in negotiations on trade pacts as the nation tries to join regional economic blocs, especially the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership and the ASEAN-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
The appointment came after Liang, 63, said he wanted to leave his job for health reasons, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said.
Liang will be able to continue making great contributions to the nation while still working for the government, the Executive Yuan said.
At the ministry, Liang was in charge of Taiwan’s talks to sign the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement with China, an investment protection agreement with Japan and an economic cooperation agreement with New Zealand.
He had previously served as the ministry’s administrative deputy minister, chief of staff to the vice president’s office, head of the economic division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US and deputy director of the ministry’s Bureau of Foreign Trade.
Administrative Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Woody Duh (杜紫軍) will replace Liang, the Executive Yuan said.
Duh, 55, has held several important positions in ministry agencies, including as directors of the Industrial Development Bureau and the Department of Industrial Technology, and head of the Department of Commerce.
Industrial Development Bureau Director Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津), 63, is to take over Duh’s position.