A survey of foreign nationals living in this country found that 88.8 percent think that Taiwanese are “friendly.”
The overall satisfaction for bilingual markings on product packaging, however, remained the lowest category in the survey, with just 19.5 percent of respondents saying they were satisfied.
National Immigration Agency (NIA) Director-General Hsieh Li-kung (謝立功) said he was surprised that 74.8 percent of respondents said they “do not know about” or “had no comment” on the Information for Foreigners Web site and the International Community Service Hotline.
The hotline (0800-024-111) provides Chinese, English or Japanese language help for foreigners on issues such as visas, employment, taxation, health insurance and transportation.
Hsieh said the center received 53,072 calls last year, up from 30,712 in 2007, and the number was even higher this year.
“But apparently we need to do more to advertise the 24-hour service,” he said.
The survey polled white-collar foreign workers, with 1,076 valid samples received from a population of 18,532. The poll will serve as a reference for the government in reviewing its policies on attracting professional personnel.
Hsieh said there are about 960,000 foreigners and immigrants in the country, including manufacturing and construction workers, careworkers and people married to Taiwanese.
The survey found that foreigners’ overall satisfaction with the living environment has continued to increase, rising from 67.9 percent last year to 75.1 percent this year.
Many respondents said they found it difficult to understand rules and regulations governing foreign workers, and just 38.3 percent said they were satisfied.
Satisfaction levels for the friendliness of employees and coworkers were 78.5 percent and 87.1 percent respectively, while the satisfaction level for wages was 62.1 percent.
The overall satisfaction level with Taiwan’s cultural tolerance was 65.2 percent. In this category, 41.4 percent of respondents thought Taiwanese were unfamiliar with the culture of their home countries, 44.2 percent considered the English ability of Taiwanese to be average, while 72.1 percent said Taiwanese were accepting, tolerant and open to learning about different cultures.
In other survey news, the Research, Development and Evaluation Commission released the results yesterday of a nationwide poll on the digital divide. It has conducted such polls since 2001.
The commission found that 67.7 percent of respondents above the age of 12 and 78 percent of households have Internet access and the Internet population is close to 14 million.
This year, the significant increase in middle-aged and senior-citizen Internet users indicates that efforts by the government to narrow the digital divide have achieved some results, Research, Development and Evaluation Commission Minister Chu Chin-peng (朱景鵬) said.
Another key finding was that the Internet connection rate for households has stagnated at 24 percent for households with a monthly income of less than NT$20,000 and 96 percent for households with an income of more than NT$70,000.
The survey was conducted between July 13 and Aug. 21.
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