The European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan (ECCT) yesterday urged the government to speed up energy transformation, attract and retain talent, and enhance conditions for developing innovative technologies.
Taiwan has navigated the COVID-19 pandemic well, and the economy has benefited from the acceleration of digitalization and a shift to remote working, but the nation needs a different strategy now, said the chamber, which released its annual position yesterday.
“While other countries are opening up, Taiwan’s continued isolation risks leaving it behind in the contest for international talent, trade and investment,” ECCT chairman Henry Chang (張瀚書) said.
Photo courtesy of Taoyuan International Airport Corp
Border restrictions should be phased out gradually, starting with a pathway for business-critical positions rather than a case-by-case review process, the chamber said.
The government should establish clear entry criteria to allow businesses to sustain their operations and facilitate talent flow, it said.
Taiwan was seen as a relatively safe haven during the pandemic, which helped attract overseas Taiwanese and foreign talent to Taiwan, it said, adding that this advantage would soon be gone.
Changes in Taiwan’s labor laws could help by exempting remote workers from the requirement to record working hours and attendance records, and create a new category of workers that is neither an employee nor an independent contractor, the paper said.
Authorities should also lower thresholds for the Employment Gold Card scheme, grant three-year work permits to all qualified foreign professionals and introduce 90-day business visas for foreign professionals, rather than requiring them to go through the lengthy process of applying for a work permit, it said.
In addition, the ECCT welcomed the government’s commitment to a net-zero target by 2050 and advised it to develop a roadmap for energy transformation in collaboration with all stakeholders.
Currently, government agencies operate in silos without due consideration of the big picture and how their actions might hamper those of others, the chamber said.
“Cross-ministerial leadership and coordination are essential to ensure a smooth energy transformation,” it said.
The roadmap should adopt concrete annual targets for the power sector, industry, mobility and buildings, the chamber said.
Taiwan also boasts some of the world’s best conditions for developing wind and solar energy, but progress toward tapping both sources has been slow, owing to local content requirements and red tape, it said.
Authorities should stop adding to already tough-to-meet local content requirements, and instead streamline procedures for renewable energy projects, it said.
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