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Taiwan urged to adopt immigration policies that help draw talent

2017/11/10 21:16:29

CNA file photo

Taipei, Nov. 10 (CNA) The government should adopt immigration policies that can attract more investors and white-collar professionals to Taiwan, a business association suggested on Friday in view of Taiwan's shortage of manpower and skilled workers.

Lai Cheng-i (賴正鎰), head of Taiwan's General Chamber of Commerce, said Taiwan needs to be looking at the policies of Hong Kong and Singapore, which have successfully recruited skilled foreign professionals, and come up with attractive tax and other incentives.

The highest marginal income tax rate of 45 percent is a major deterrent to luring highly skilled foreign talent, Lai said, in response to proposals made by the Cabinet on Friday to address the country's talent and manpower shortage.

Lai said the government's proposed reduction of the top rate from 45 percent to 40 percent was insufficient, suggesting instead that Taiwan follow in the footsteps of Hong Kong, Singapore and the U.S. and lower it to 35 percent.

On the subject of blue- and pink-collar jobs, Lai agreed with the government's assessment that there exists a need for more immigrant workers from South and Southeast Asia to work in the fishing, agriculture, and long-term care sectors.

He pointed specifically to a shortage of manpower in the fishing industry, saying that the Cabinet's policy to recruit heavily on this front is very important.

Speaking Friday morning, Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) also expressed the government's willingness to help with improving the working conditions in certain labor-intensive industries that are seen as "dirty, tiring and dangerous," deterring workers from pursuing jobs in them.

Lai Cheng-i applauded the government's commitment, saying that while businesses generally improve working conditions on their own to attract workers, government incentives to improve the overall environment and make workers' lives better will definitely help.

(By Liao Yu-yang and Kuan-lin Liu)