Taiwan has confirmed that it is planning to employ workers from Myanmar on a trial basis this year, the island’s state-run Central News agency reported last week.
Foreign Minister David Lin was quoted by the Commercial Times daily on December 31 as saying the workers would be brought to Taiwan in the first half of this year, CNA reported on January 3.
Mr Lin said Myanmar had established a trade of rice in Taipei in June last year and the next step could be to bring in workers.
The report said the island’s foreign ministry had responded to speculation about its electronics sector being permitted to hire workers from Myanmar by saying any such move would be on a trial basis and not initially be confined to a specific industry.
It also quoted the ministry as saying that regulations would need to be drafted by the labour ministry.
The report quoted the foreign ministry as saying Myanmar’s government was willing to allow its workers to go to Taiwan and that they seemed to be a good match with the island’s manpower needs.
The Commercial Times report said other potential new sources of migrant labour were Sri Lanka and Laos.
Most of Taiwan’s foreign workers are from Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, and most domestic helpers come from Indonesia.
Threats by Indonesia’s government to stop sending domestic helpers to Taiwan by 2017 have resulted in efforts to diversify sources of foreign labour.