France, Taiwan close to signing working holiday pact

Staff writer, with CNA

Wed, Sep 18, 2013 - Page 3

Taiwan is aiming to sign a working holiday agreement with France as soon as possible, a foreign affairs official said yesterday.

Working holiday visas offer limited employment rights to travelers to facilitate extended visits, typically given to people under 30.

“We have been in talks with France on signing such an agreement,” said Zhang Ming-zhong (張銘忠), director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of European Affairs.

French Minister of the Interior Manuel Valls said in a letter to French Senator Richard Yung that the agreement could be signed soon. Zhang said this was welcomed.

In Valls’ letter, the minister said he has brought a new initiative after similar working holiday agreements had been blocked by the previous government.

Saying that a potential agreement with Taiwan presented “particular difficulties,” Valls wrote that he has been working with other agencies to establish the proper legal format for such a deal.

“I am happy to inform you that these exchanges have advanced to the point that enable the signature of the bilateral accord in the very near future,” the letter read.