Positive meeting with Premier Su
Premier Su has agreed that relaxing border restrictions that are currently keeping foreign spouses and family members apart is a humanitarian issue. In the ECCT's annual meeting with Premier Su and senior cabinet officials, the premier agreed that family members of Taiwanese and foreign citizens already in Taiwan should be allowed in as a humane consideration. Also, in response to the ECCT's urgent request, the premier agreed in principle to allow foreign employees to apply for entry for company rotations and replacements, on a case-by-case basis.
This is a further positive development following the recent decision by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) to delegate responsibility and put a system in place for the Bureau of Energy to review and approve the applications of technicians and other personnel needed for the wind energy industry. This will hopefully speed up the process in time to allow them to arrive for work in September (construction of wind farms shuts down during the windy winter months). In the same vein, it is hoped that the paperwork for new teachers required for international schools, including TES, will be sped up.
The annual meeting with the premier offered the opportunity to discuss a number of other pressing issues. As in previous years, the ECCT delegation was limited to executive directors and a few selected co-chairs.
Besides border restrictions, ECCT Chairman Henry Chang and CEO Freddie Höglund spoke about Covid-19 issues related to vaccinations, quarantine and testing, stressing the need for Taiwan to clearly communicate their plan for Taiwan's eventual post-Covid-19 opening up in order to provide visibility to the business community.
ECCT director Chen Mei-lin spoke about travel and the opening up of international tourism while Vice Chairman Giuseppe Izzo covered mobility issues and director Irene Feng covered healthcare issues. Meanwhile director Markus Wild spoke about wind energy issues.
HR committee co-chair Howard Shiu spoke about talent, labour law and related HR issues while Better Living Co-chair Tim Berge spoke about issues related to equal treatment. On the subject of equal treatment, the premier agreed in principle that foreign permanent residents should be given the same treatment as citizens.