Tue, Dec 09, 2008 - Page 4 News List

COMMUNITY COMPASS: Foreign assistance center in Hsinchu to open its doors

‘Silicon Valley’ After learning that similar centers had been established in other Asian countries, the decision was made to establish one in Taiwan

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

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The first Cabinet-sponsored foreigner assistance center is expected to open soon in Hsinchu to provide services for foreigners visiting or staying in Taiwan.

The Hsinchu Foreigner Assistance Center, to be located at No. 107 Zhongyang Road in Hsinchu City, will be a consultancy office dedicated to helping foreigners solve problems they encounter in Taiwan, Hsinchu Mayor Lin Junq-tzer (林政則) said on Nov. 27.

The center has already begun offering assistance to foreigners since a soft opening several days ago, Lin said, adding that consultants in the center include professional consultants and young men serving alternative military service who speak fluent English or Japanese.

After learning that similar foreigner assistance centers had been established in other Asian countries such as Japan, Singapore and South Korea, Lin said, the Cabinet-level Research, Development and Evaluation Commission recently decided to establish one in Taiwan. Hsinchu City was chosen to host the first center of this kind in the country.

Hsinchu is home to Taiwan’s “Silicon Valley” — the Hsinchu Science Park — which is the country’s first and largest science-based industrial park. As a result, the city attracts a lot of foreign visitors.

In the future, Lin said, students of Hsinchu’s prestigious National Tsinghua University will be invited to work as volunteers at the center.

Consultancy services the Hsinchu Foreigner Assistance Center will be offering include help in getting settled in Taiwan, planning travel itineraries, doing business and investing, finding housing and obtaining medical care, as well as transportation information, Lin said.

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