《TAIPEI TIMES》 Taiwan-India worker deal planned
Officials attend an Indian Republic Day celebration hosted by the India-Taipei Association in Taipei on Jan. 17. Photo: Lu Yi-hsuan, Taipei Times
MEMORANDUM: Taiwan aims to tackle labor shortage problems in areas such as manufacturing, construction, agriculture and fishery by collaborating with India
/ Staff writer, with CNA, NEW DELHI
Taiwan and India are planning to sign a memorandum of understanding （MOU） by the end of this year regarding the hiring of Indian migrant workers to help Taiwan address its labor shortage, a Taiwanese source familiar with the matter said.
The two nations had been negotiating the agreement since 2020, but talks had been stalled for some time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the source, who declined to be named, said on Thursday.
Both sides had almost completed initial discussions and the signing of the MOU is scheduled for the end of the year, the source said.
Indian Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Arindam Bagchi in a news conference on Thursday said that he hoped the migrant worker MOU would be signed as soon as possible since the pact is expected to benefit both parties.
“Negotiations by their very nature tend to not have a finite timeline,” Bagchi said. “But we hope that they will be concluded in due course and that it will soon be possible to benefit from this mobility partnership.”
On Sept. 26, the Hindustan Times reported that Taipei and New Delhi were looking to sign a migration and mobility agreement to help Taiwan tackle its labor shortage problems in areas such as manufacturing, construction, agriculture and fishery.
Taiwanese firms were particularly interested in hiring people from India’s northeastern states, citing similarities culture and diet as reasons, the report said.
Premier Chen Chien-jen （陳建仁） had met with the new director-general of the India Taipei Association, Manharsinh Laxmanbhai Yadav, on Sept. 12, before the report was published.
During the meeting, the two officials discussed Taiwan-India collaboration, including the signing of an MOU on migration policies and another one on the development of traditional medicine.
Yadav, who took office in August, said both sides were moving in a positive direction in terms of the negotiations on both MOUs, adding that they discussed a plan to set up a new office in Mumbai, India’s financial and commercial hub, and investments by several major Taiwanese companies, such as iPhone assembler Hon Hai Precision Industry Co （鴻海精密）, also known as Foxconn （富士康科技集團）.
Chen told reporters on the sidelines of a social housing promotion event in Taipei yesterday that Taiwan and India had been in discussions regarding migrant workers for years and that the Taiwanese government would survey the needs of different industries before mapping out details.
Chen did not mention when the accord would be signed.
He described Taiwan and India as economically complementary partners and said that both sides reached a consensus on forging a closer relationship via trade and investment.
Bilateral trade between Taiwan and India increased more than seven-fold from US$1.19 billion in 2001 to US$8.4 billion last year, making New Delhi Taipei’s 14th-largest buyer of goods and its 18th-largest supplier.
About 750,000 migrant workers were in Taiwan as of the end of September, with the majority coming from Indonesia （267,194）, Vietnam （261,301） and the Philippines （152,026）, Ministry of Labor statistics showed.