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Chinese professionals not allowed to work in Taiwan after ECFA: MOEA

2010/04/06 18:55:39

Taipei, April 6 (CNA) Taiwan will not allow Chinese white-collarworkers to work in Taiwan, even after signing a proposed economiccooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with China, the Bureau ofForeign Trade under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) saidTuesday.

The Liberty Times newspaper carried a report that day saying thatthe government is "opening a back door" by revising regulations toallow Chinese white-collar workers to work to Taiwan, and said theECFA will deal a blow to 3.21 million Taiwanese white-collar workers.

However, Huang Chih-peng, director-general of the Bureau ofForeign Trade, rebutted the newspaper report at a press conference,saying that Taiwan will never allow Chinese workers or professionals-- including lawyers, accountants, engineers and doctors -- to workin Taiwan.

Huang said that although some Chinese company leaders, seniormanagers or experts in over 20 service industries will still beallowed to work in Taiwan, the number of categories in the group willnot be large.

Among those service sector businesses, only Chinese companieswith an investment or operation capital of over US$200,000 in theirTaiwan branch or subsidiary can apply for two people to work inTaiwan, and every increase of US$500,000 in investment allows them toapply for one more person, with the maximum number allowed for onecompany set at seven, Huang explained, citing regulations revised inJanuary.

Allowing those people to work here will provide added value, asthey might create more investment and production value, as well asjob opportunities for Taiwanese people, said Huang, who was alsoTaiwan's chief negotiator in the second round of cross-Taiwan StraitECFA negotiations that ended the previous week.

In a separate news release, the bureau pointed out that mostforeign companies operating in Taiwan assign few senior managers towork here and that most of their workers are employed locally.

The Liberty Times cited the regulations published earlier by theMinistry of Interior that stipulate that Chinese people working inmultinational companies in Taiwan will be allowed to extend theirstays in Taiwan from one year to three years.

In addition, any Chinese company operating in Taiwan with revenueof NT$10 million or more, or a newly established Chinese company'sTaiwan branch with operating capital of NT$5 million or more, willbecome eligible to invite up to 400 Chinese people a year to Taiwanfor business purposes if the company's annual revenues reach NT$100million, the newspaper reported.

According to the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, theregulations were revised to loosen restrictions for Chinesewhite-collar workers working in Taiwan.

Huang pointed out, however, that those regulations are mostlyapplied to Chinese businessmen visiting Taiwan for short term study,observation, training or trade fairs, which does not affect Taiwan'sjob market.

(By Lee Ming-chung, Wen Kuei-hsiang and Fanny Liu)