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Business group want end to minimal wages for foreign workers

2012/09/13 17:08:45

Taipei, Sept. 13 (CNA) A group of local businessmen on Thursday called for the dispensation of the minimal wage for foreign workers to attract local businessmen operating in China to return.

Taiwan's economic slump resulted from the exodus of its manufacturing industry, which was one of the leading creators of Taiwan's economic miracle, said Kao Wei-bang, who heads the group of investors that he says are suffering in the hands of China.

Noting that labor costs in China are rising rapidly, Kao said many Taiwan businessmen working there are more than willing to return to Taiwan, if only they could find cheap workers on the island.

He urged the government to relinquish the minimal wage requirement for foreign workers, and give employers a free hand in deciding the wages of their workers to encourage them to return to Taiwan.

If only 10 percent of China-based businessmen come back to Taiwan, they would create 1 million jobs. If 60 percent of these jobs go to foreign workers, the remaining 400,000 jobs will go to local workers, Kao said.

When the manufacturing industry is booming, so will the service industry, he said.

If the Executive Yuan, which has just designed a program to promote Taiwan's economic momentum, really wants to boost the economy, this is what it should do, Kao said.

In response to a question on whether the exclusion of foreign workers from the minimal wage goes against any international conventions, Kao said that wages should be determined by the market, not the government.

(By Sophia Yeh, Maubo Chang)