Taipei- Taiwan and the Netherlands signed an agreement Monday that paves the way for a reciprocal working holiday program between the two countries that is expected to take effect in April, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) announced that day.
Under the terms of the pact, the two sides will each allow an annual quota of 100 citizens aged 18-30 to travel and work in each other's country.
The Taiwanese participants will be allowed to stay in the Netherlands to travel, work or participate in short-term study for up to one year, while the participants from the Netherlands will be allowed to do the same in Taiwan for up to 180 days, which can be extensible to 360 days, according to a MOFA press release.
The agreement was signed by representatives of the two sides in Taipei.
The ministry said it expects the deal to further advance bilateral tourism, cultural and youth exchanges.
The Netherlands is the 12th European country and the 17th country worldwide to have inked a working holiday deal with Taiwan, the ministry went on.
For the Netherlands, Taiwan is the third partner in Asia, following South Korea and Hong Kong, and the seventh partner in the world it has similar deals with.
The Netherlands Trade and Investment Office in Taiwan (NTIO), which represents Dutch interests in Taiwan in the absence of formal diplomatic relations, said in a Facebook post that its head, Guy Wittich, hopes that the young people of both sides can use the program to become "ambassadors," to bring bilateral ties even closer.
According to the NTIO, the Netherlands has been Taiwan's largest foreign direct investor for three consecutive years since 2016, and is Taiwan's second-largest trading partner in Europe with over US$10 billion-worth of transactions each year.
Taiwan is also the fourth-largest Asian investor in the Netherlands, with more than 200 Taiwan enterprises operating there.
Bilateral cultural exchanges are also thriving, with more than 400 artists from the Netherlands having visited Taiwan for exhibitions and performances so far this year.
In addition, the number of Taiwanese students studying in the Netherlands this year has seen a 20 percent increase compared with the figure for last year, it added.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel