More incentives needed to attract foreign professionals: ECCT

Taipei, A new law that relaxes requirements for foreign professionals to work in Taiwan is a good first step toward attracting foreign talent, but more needs to be done, a representative of the European Chamber of Commerce Taiwan (ECCT) said Monday.

Asked about the passage of the Act for the Recruitment and Employment of Foreign Professionals, which took effect Feb. 8, Freddie Hoeglund, ECCT chief executive officer, said the act makes it easier for foreign professionals to work in Taiwan.

However, there are still a number of challenges for foreigners working in Taiwan and more needs to be done, he noted.

“It is a good first step, but we need to monitor developments and make sure Taiwan stays an attractive place to work,” he said.

He made the comments during a press event in Taipei as the ECCT and global recruitment specialist PageGroup Taiwan released its latest Salary Benchmark 2018 report.

Commenting on the issue, Mark Tibbatts, managing director of PageGroup’s Southern China and Taiwan division, said that losing talent is a problem faced by many countries.

Tibbatts said a lot of foreign nationals would like to stay in Taiwan, but the private sector and the government need to work together to provide better incentives to persuade them to do so.

The act passed by lawmakers last October extends work and residence permits for foreign white-collar professionals from the current maximum of three years to five. It also removes the requirement that such workers must remain in Taiwan for 183 days per year to maintain their status.

Meanwhile, in the PageGroup annual report released Monday, Tibbatts said he remains cautiously optimistic about the prospects for Taiwan’s job market in 2018.

The company’s annual survey finds that there is keen interest from local firms in recruiting professionals skilled in the areas of e-commerce, IoT, software development, semiconductors and healthcare.

With higher demand for skilled professionals, the report suggests that local companies could remain competitive by offering attractive salary packages and maintaining strong employer branding to keep and attract talent.

The Michael Page Taiwan Salary Benchmark 2018 was produced in collaboration with ECCT, and is compiled with employment figures from the Michael Page group’s database in the last 12 months.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel