Taiwan, France close to working holiday program

OPENING DOORS::French Senator Catherine Tasca said certain barriers to the agreement had been overcome and that the group she heads supports it

Staff writer, with CNA

Mon, Oct 22, 2012 - Page 3

Taiwan and France are likely to reach an agreement on a reciprocal working holiday program that will allow young adults from the two nations to travel and work in both countries, French officials said yesterday.

French Senator Catherine Tasca, chairwoman of the French Senate’s Franco-Taiwan Friendship Group, said the procedure for reaching the agreement was still in progress and that certain barriers have been eliminated.

Tasca added that the prospective agreement between Taiwan and France had the full support of the group.

Taiwan, which has made advancements in economics, culture, technology and research, as well as in its capabilities for innovation and invention, was an important partner for France, Tasca said.

The working holiday program could be instrumental in developing effective future relations between the younger generations of Taiwan and France, Tasca said.

Christophe Gigaudaut, head of the culture, education and science section at the French Office in Taipei, also expressed his confidence in the bilateral working holiday program.

Gigaudaut said the program might also help more Taiwanese students study in France.

Tasca, a member of the French Senate, served as culture minister of France from 2000 to 2002, and visited the country in 2010.

She had come to Taiwan to attend Double Ten National Day celebrations, which are held on Oct. 10 each year.

Taiwan has been trying for years to reach a working holiday agreement with France, which has similar arrangements with countries such as Canada, Japan, South Korea, the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland and Germany.