Fri, Dec 19, 2014 - Page 4 News List

Taiwan News Quick Take

Staff writer, with CNA

TRADE

Austria ratifies tax pact

Trade and investment between Taiwan and Austria is expected to get a boost when the double taxation avoidance agreement signed earlier this year takes effect next year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. The agreement, signed in July, was passed by the Austrian parliament on Wednesday, Department of European Affairs Director-General Zhang Ming-zhong (張銘忠) said. Taiwan has completed all legal procedures required for the agreement to come into effect, he said. After Austria finishes its final legal procedures, “the agreement is set to take effect Jan. 1, 2015,” he said at a regular news conference. This is Taiwan’s 13th tax agreement with a European country and 28th overall, the ministry said. Bilateral trade between Taiwan and Austria was US$780 million last year, while trade during the first three quarters of this year was more than US$630 million. The ministry said the agreement is expected to advance trade and investment relations and promote technical exchanges and business opportunities and will help strengthen Taiwan’s ties with the EU.

POLITICS

Premier urges paradigm shift

Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) yesterday urged Cabinet members to adjust their way of thinking and to fundamentally change their attitudes and ways of doing things. For example, government officials should avoid using the phrase “going down to the countryside,” to describe their visits to the electorate, as this implies that members of the public they meet are below the level of the officials, Mao said during the first official Cabinet meeting since he took office as premier last week. Cabinet members should interact humbly with residents in all parts of the nation, he said. Furthermore, the term “promulgate” should not be use to describe the Cabinet’s efforts to put across government’s policies to the public because it suggests one-way communication, Mao said. He also advised government officials to avoid seeking excuses for their failures and instead try to find ways to achieve success.

TOURISM

Taiwanese No.1 in Japan

More than 2.61 million Taiwanese visited Japan during the first 11 months of the year, topping the list of foreign tourist arrivals to the nation, according to statistics released by the Japanese Tourism Agency on Wednesday. South Koreans ranked second on the list, with 2.48 million arrivals, followed by China with 2.21 million and Hong Kong with 819,000, the figures showed. A total 12.17 million foreign nationals visited Japan from January-to-November, an increase of 28.2 percent year-on-year, the data show. The number is expected to top 13 million by the end of the year, exceeding the 10 million visitors to Japan last year. The agency said the falling Japanese yen was one of the reasons for the increase in visitor arrivals.

TOURISM

MOFA issues visa reminder

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday reminded travelers to Europe’s Schengen Area of changes to short-stay visa requirements being implemented over the next several months. The requirements include collecting the fingerprints from all 10 digits of each visa applicant as part of the Visa Information System, which was launched in 2011 to ask Schengen member states’ overseas missions to begin gradually rolling out the new system over a period of three years.

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