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Taiwan's officials to visit Singapore on jobless rate

Taiwan's officials to visit Singapore on jobless rate

Taipei, May 28 (CNA) Taiwan will send officials to Singapore next week to learn about the Singaporean government's successful efforts to lower the city state's jobless rate, the country's top economic planning head said Friday.
"It (the trip) is more of a research nature," Christina Liu, the new chairwoman of the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) told reporters.
She said she will not head the team herself due to her busy schedule. She did not reveal the number of the officials who will visit Singapore and their departure date.
Her remarks came one day after President Ma Ying-jeou brought up the idea to do so at a ministry-level meeting on reducing the unemployment rate.
Taiwan's jobless rate in April dropped to 5.39 percent, while Singapore's is 2.2 percent for the first quarter of this year.
The Ma administration is working to bring the rate under 5 percent by the end of this year.
Liu attributed Singapore's low jobless rate to its flexible labor market.
"Singapore's labor market is rated the most flexible in the world, while Taiwan's ranks about 150th among more than 180 nations surveyed," she said.
The flexibility of the labor market determines how fast an economy recovers, according to Liu.
Regarding flexibility, Liu said that wage rigidity is one factor.
"Wages can go up, but when it goes up, it doesn't go down easily.
When companies cannot lower wages, they will choose to lay off people," she noted.
The newly opened casinos in Singapore also boosted the country's economy, Liu said.
Asked if the team that will head to Singapore will discuss signing a free trade agreement between Taiwan and Singapore, Liu said "no." Liu also said she is aware of a serious gap between the rich and poor in Singapore despite a low jobless rate.
"We will assess what we learn from Singapore and see what can be implemented in Taiwan," she said.
"After the team returns home, we will discuss with the Council of Labor Affairs and other ministries within two or three days to come up with short-term and mid-term strategies," the chairwoman added.
(By Alex Jiang)




Updated : 2021-03-06 15:41 GMT+08:00