Premier Lin Chuan today emphasized that in addition to helping Taiwan enterprises invest in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and South Asian countries, the government’s New Southbound Policy has broader goals including establishing stable bilateral relationships, creating win-win situations, and protecting the investments and economic activities of participating enterprises. The premier also expressed hope that in the future, domestic enterprises that invest abroad under this policy will consolidate operations back here in Taiwan.
Executive Yuan Spokesperson Hsu Kuo-yung also added that talent exchanges under the New Southbound Policy are subject to several considerations. As the ageing of Taiwan’s population is clearly an issue, in addition to establishing threshold qualifications for foreign talent, the government also needs to open up a channel for qualified personnel from Southeast Asia to stay here so that Taiwan can retain talent and strengthen national competitiveness.
Spokesperson Hsu also said it is very important to protect and cultivate second-generation immigrants to keep them from becoming a disadvantaged social group, and integrate them into Taiwan society. That will require comprehensive policies covering education and employment that give them a viable path back to South Asia. One of the main tasks under the New Southbound Policy is to encourage Southeast Asian students to enroll in Taiwan’s educational institutions, taking good care of them and helping them understand the Taiwan environment. So even if these students choose not to stay in Taiwan after graduation, they will still carry good impressions about Taiwan back to their home country.
Spokesperson Hsu went on to say that as a people-oriented initiative, the New Southbound Policy hopes to reinforce people-to-people relations and exchanges, which in turn will help consolidate industries and make them less susceptible to political changes. The policy also aims to connect domestic industries with ASEAN and South Asian markets to achieve economies of scale. To expand Taiwan’s presence in Southeast Asian markets, the spokesperson requested that the relevant agencies map out strategies to leverage each industrial sector’s strong suits, and step up communications and listen to the opinions of various industries.
The New Southbound Policy targets 18 Southeast Asian and South Asian nations, including both developed and developing countries, so the government needs to work out industry deployment strategies and priorities based on the special characteristics and economic development level of each country, said the spokesperson.