Taiwan prepares to import 7 farm workers from Thailand

Talks with the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia also proceeding: WDA

Farm workers in Taiwan.

Farm workers in Taiwan. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Preparations are underway to import farm workers from overseas for the first time, reports said Wednesday (December 18).

Earlier this year, the government decided to allow the importation of foreign workers to address shortages in Taiwan’s agriculture sector. While the program moved forward slowly due to doubts from the labor-exporting countries, a consensus has now been reached with Thailand and the Philippines, UDN reported.

A total of 14 Taiwanese agriculture-related businesses applied to employ foreign workers, and six of those received permission to import 45 farm workers, according to the Ministry of Labor’s Workforce Development Agency (WDA). Three other companies wanted to employ foreigners already working in Taiwan in other sectors.

Seven Thai citizens are likely to become the first foreign farm workers to arrive on the island under the new program, officials said.

Vietnam is sending a delegation to look at prospects on December 24, but no agreement with Indonesia has yet been reached yet because the Southeast Asian country insists employers pay for the flights between the two countries, according to the WDA. The Taiwanese government has said its Indonesian counterpart should not issue such demands but allow employers and employees to discuss the matter and reach an agreement themselves.