Taiwan wants more workers and migrants from New Southbound Policy countries

Farming, fisheries and long-term care will be priority sectors

Premier Lai (center) with Minister without Portfolio Lin (right) and government spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung. (By Central News Agency)

Premier Lai (front right) with Cabinet spokesman Hsu. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – In order to address a lack of talent and workers, Premier William Lai (賴清德) said Friday that his government planned to make Taiwan more attractive to foreign employees and migrants, especially from the New Southbound Policy (新南向政策) countries.

Since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) came to power early last year, the government has been focusing on strengthening links with the countries of South Asia and Southeast Asia as well as Australia and New Zealand in what it has dubbed the “New Southbound Policy.’

Agriculture, fishery and long-term care were the sectors which would receive priority once planned labor migration was being handled, with the countries from the New Southbound Policy coming first, the Central News Agency quoted Minister without Portfolio Lin Wan-i (林萬億) as saying.

Students from those countries already in Taiwan could learn the appropriate techniques and strengthen their language ability which would make them suitable for work in the local agricultural sector once they graduated, Lin said.

At present there were also more than 1,000 fishing workers from China and more than 20,000 from Southeast Asia whose experience and abilities would be lost if they left Taiwan, the minister added.

According to Lin, foreign caregivers who could now stay for 14 years should also see more safeguards for their working rights.

As to organized migrants, studies had already begun on how to move from short-term work to long-term work to migration, resulting in a system where there were no problems with issues like quotas or unaccounted-for workers.