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Taiwan working to improve its English living environment

Dr. Frank Yu-hsieh Sung gestures during the interview on Monday.

Dr. Frank Yu-hsieh Sung gestures during the interview on Monday.

The Research, Development and Evaluation Commission (RDEC) under the Executive Yuan is working closely with offices throughout Taiwan to create a living environment that is much more friendly to foreigners who come to Taiwan to invest, travel, work or study. Dr. Frank Yu-hsieh Sung, a Deputy Minister in the RDEC, notes that Taiwan has made great strides in making it easier for people who do not speak or read Chinese to cope with everyday problems ranging from visa and passport problems to ordering a meal in a restaurant.
Much of the impetus behind this development is coming from a group officially known as the International Friendly Living Environment Task Force but more commonly referred to as the International Living Environment Service. Headed by Dr. Ovid J.L. Tzeng, a Minister without Portfolio who is a former Minister of Education and Vice-president of Academia Sinica (中央研究院), ILES consists of five groups of government officials who are overseeing the progress of internationalization in areas including strategic planning (by the RDEC), Chinese translation (Ministry of Education), residency matters (Ministry of Interior), travel (Ministry of Transportation and Communications) and investment and employment (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Council of Labor Affairs).
The main goal of all this activity is to set up a system in which foreigners have access to a single window through which they can obtain information and assistance in handling any problems they may encounter during the course of their stay in Taiwan. Dr. Sung points out that the task force is relatively new and concrete results should start to appear within half a year or so. Currently ILES offers a 24-hour free hotline at 0800-024111 which has helped foreigners in situations ranging from arranging for a tow after a car broke down on an expressway to handling paperwork for a child whose visa had expired. More information on these and other services can be found on the group's website at http://iff.immigration.gov.tw/front/index.php


Updated : 2021-10-18 23:04 GMT+08:00