Business groups upbeat about economic immigration bill

Taipei, Local business groups in Taiwan are optimistic about a draft economic immigration bill the Cabinet unveiled on Tuesday, hoping that it will attract more foreign talent and elevate the country's overall competitiveness.

The bill, which in part eases restrictions on foreign professionals working in Taiwan and makes it easier for them to acquire permanent resident status, was welcomed by Chairman Lai Cheng-i (???) of the General Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

According to Lai, Taiwan is currently lacking in professional talent, a problem that other countries including Germany, Canada and the United States have all solved by allowing more immigration.

Up until now, the country has failed to come up with a good immigration plan that can tackle the shrinking workforce and low birth rates, Lai said.

But the new bill, he said, could create new job opportunities, improve the caliber of professionals, strengthen national competitiveness and address Taiwan's population problems, based on how similar policies have worked in other countries.

Meanwhile, Fan Liang-tung (???), secretary-general of the Taiwan-based Chinese National Association of Industry and Commerce, expressed optimism but maintained that Taiwan has to get its investment environment in shape for the bill to work.

If local talent does not want to stay in Taiwan, then it will be unlikely for foreign nationals to come regardless of how much regulations are eased, Fan said.

A good investment environment combined with good policies will prevent a talent outflow and attract foreign professionals, he said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel