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The passage of the Act Governing Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals is a missed opportunity to resolve problems involving unpaid foreign artists coming to Taiwan as part of cultural exchanges. If the government is serious about galvanizing Taiwan's cultural economy, a focused discussion that addresses problems with the country's tax system is required, writes Julia Chien.
The draft act on hiring foreign talent passed last week does more to make life easier for foreign workers and their families already in Taiwan than it does to entice fresh white-collar recruits to the beautiful island.
Liu Chia-chun, director general of the Workforce Development Agency, says that the overall labor force in Taiwan has been decreasing, and each year 20,000 to 30,000 white-collar workers move out. Facing the loss of professionals and lack of basic labor force, Liu hopes that foreign professionals will stay if limitations are relaxed.
Taiwan obviously lags behind in the Asia-Pacific region in attracting foreign talent and is facing a serious challenge in ensuring labor supply and retaining technical talents, not to mention the difficulties in maintaining short-term and mid-term economic growth and competitiveness. The report notes that despite regulations concerning the employment of expats have been loosened in recent years, some unreasonable restrictions still exist.