The Cabinet yesterday proposed a draft act aimed at attracting foreign professionals, technicians, business immigrants and Taiwanese expatriates to supplement the nation’s labor pool.
With its declining birthrate and aging population, Taiwan would start to have negative population growth by 2025, Premier William Lai (賴清德) told a news conference at the Executive Yuan in Taipei, adding that the population is expected to decline from more than 23 million to fewer than 20 million by 2035.
As of August last year, the nation had a labor shortage of 218,000 people, excluding the agricultural sector, National Development Council Minister Chen Mei-ling (陳美伶) said, adding that it needed 120,000 more middle-level technicians.
The council proposed a draft act for new economic immigration to encourage more foreigners and Taiwanese expatriates to join the nation’s workforce, be they technicians, professionals or businesspeople, Chen said.
Foreign professionals who want to apply for permanent residency are required to stay in the nation for five consecutive years, but the bill proposes shortening the period to three years for special professionals, she said.
Special professionals are defined as those younger than 40 whose skills fit the nation’s key development industries, with an average monthly salary of NT$160,000, according to the draft act.
As for foreign technicians, the council would encourage overseas students and migrant workers to stay in Taiwan, but would only introduce them when the council considers it necessary, Chen said.
Migrant workers who have technical certificates would be allowed to stay in Taiwan after six years of work, but their monthly salary should meet certain standards — NT$41,393 for industrial workers and NT$32,000 for those in the social welfare and healthcare sectors, she said.
The council would have total control over the number of foreign technicians and impose personnel ratios on industries to ensure that foreign technicians supplement, rather than replace, the local workforce, she said.
The draft act would also loosen regulations for business immigrants as well as Taiwanese expatriates and their children returning to the nation.
The Executive Yuan expects to send the bill to the Legislative Yuan for review in the next legislative session, Lai said.
The council would continue to evaluate the bill’s potential risks and effects, Lai said, adding that the Cabinet would ensure new regulations do not affect the salaries of Taiwanese.
As for the labor shortage in the agricultural sector, the Council of Agriculture is promoting a working holiday program for young people from Southeast Asian nations, Deputy Minister of Labor Shih Keh-her (施克和) said.
CONGRESSIONAL SUPPORT: A new committee would investigate a backlog of US weapons sales to Taiwan, said its chairman, US Representative Mike Gallagher The US should formally recognize Taiwan as an independent nation, and end its outdated and counterproductive “one China” policy, US Representative Tom Tiffany and 18 other US lawmakers wrote in a petition. “It is time to change the status quo and recognize the reality denied by the US government for decades: Taiwan is an independent nation,” Tiffany told the Epoch Times. “As our long-standing and valued partner, correctly acknowledging their independence from communist China is long overdue.” The resolution also asks the administration of US President Joe Biden to support Taiwan’s membership in international organizations and to negotiate a bilateral free-trade
GUT FEELING: In the leaked memo, US Air Force General Mike Minihan urged mobile command personnel to go to a firing range, shoot at a target and ‘aim for the head’ A four-star US Air Force general has warned of a conflict with China as early as 2025 — most likely over Taiwan — and urged his commanders to push their units to achieve maximum operational battle readiness this year. In an internal memorandum that first emerged on social media on Friday, and was later confirmed as genuine by the Pentagon, Air Mobility Command Commander General Mike Minihan said that the main goal should be to deter “and, if required, defeat” China. “I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me we will fight in 2025,” Minihan said. Minihan said that Taiwan’s presidential election
INCREASED RISK: The Omicron BA.2.75 subvariant has higher immune evasive capacity, but the CECC is more concerned about newer subvariants such as XBB and BQ.1 With the peak season for infectious respiratory diseases coming to an end, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that details of the next phase of lifting COVID-19 masking rules — removing the mask requirement in most indoor settings — are to be announced this week. Discussions on lifting other COVID-19 restrictions are also being held, including further easing border control measures, home isolation requirements and revising the definition for reporting cases, while also downgrading COVID-19 to a lower category of notifiable communicable disease, said Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang (王必勝), who heads the CECC. As the daily
DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM: Czech president-elect Petr Pavel said his nation stands firmly on the side of democracy and would boost cooperation with Taipei in all aspects Czech president-elect Petr Pavel spoke by telephone with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday, a highly unusual move given the lack of formal ties and a diplomatic coup for Taipei. Tsai spoke with Pavel for 15 minutes in a harmonious atmosphere, Presidential Office spokeswoman Lin Yu-chan (林聿禪) said, adding that Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) was also present during the conversation. Lin quoted Pavel as telling Tsai that Taiwan is a trustworthy partner, adding that the Czech Republic stands firmly on the side of democracy and supports Taiwan in maintaining a lively democratic system free from authoritarian coercion. The Czech Republic would