Thu, Oct 29, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Premier touts ‘globalization’ of engineering sector

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) yesterday said restrictions that have barred foreign students from staying and working in the nation would be further relaxed by the end of this year, as part of the government’s plan to globalize Taiwan’s engineering industry.

The premier attended a conference in Taipei calling for the nation’s engineering industry to go global, saying that while the industry is fairly experienced and infrastructure construction developed, the next step is globalization.

The Public Construction Commission said the government will muster NT$470 million (US$14.38 million) for an investment fund for the engineering industry to make foreign bids in fields in which Taiwan is competitive, such as petrochemicals, power plants, environmental resources including soil and groundwater, electronic toll collection systems and mass rapid transit systems and help them establish five flagship teams aimed at promoting exports.

Foreign bids are to be sought by championing Taiwan’s construction capabilities with a “total-solution” offer of transportation constructions or energy plants, it added.

The streamlining of the flow of human resources, capital and information will also be part of the government’s support for the teams, the commission said.

For capital flow, Mao said he has asked the Ministry of Finance to set up a “syndicated loan platform for system, package plant and construction exports,” using the Export-Import Bank of the Republic of China as a window for uniting the country’s banks to provide syndicated loans.

Regarding the information flow, the premier said the Public Construction Commission, with the assistance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, is to establish overseas information-gathering centers to allow Taiwanese firms to snatch future opportunities as soon as possible.

Mao also said that too many restrictions preventing foreign students from staying in the nation, such as the requirement of having work experience of at least two years, which has been scrapped, are “tantamount to chasing them away.”

Restrictions such as wage thresholds and the “point method” are to be removed by the end of this year, Mao said.

“They will be allowed to remain in the nation as long as they can find a job,” Mao said.

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