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Influx of Indian workers in Taiwan? Firms roll out welcome mat, but ‘prejudices’ lurk

A Taiwanese developer of PC power supplies may be ahead of its time.

AcBel Polytech, which was founded in 1981, has 7,000 employees, but recently the firm has attempted to boost their ranks by recruiting Indian students from Taiwanese universities.

“We try to bring other countries’ talent to work with us, and India, why not?” assistant vice-president James Hsieh said on the sidelines of the Computex Taipei tech show in early June, with the company having been interviewing students on university campus’ for at least the past year.

Media in Taiwan and India have said as many as 100,000 Indian nationals could eventually reach Taiwan to work in factories, on farms and in hospitals. India is also known for its tech talent.

But approval of a labour deal is still pending parliamentary approval in Taipei, and since the memo was signed, scepticism has arisen on both sides about how well Indian workers would adapt.

And a ministry spokesman sees little chance of the labour deal with India being approved before the summer recess.

Taiwan has not fixed the number of workers it hopes to recruit from India, the spokesman added, while the Ministry of Labour does not have figures for the number of Indian workers employed in Taiwan.

“Taiwan’s economic development level is a bit higher, so Taiwan has some attractiveness,” said Fang Tien-sze, a professor and CEO of the Taiwan-India Research Association, a group of scholars and others with connections to India based in Taiwan.

“[But] Taiwan for Indians is an unknown place – they don’t know what the language and culture are all about.”

“For Taiwan, [more Indian labour] is an opportunity for study,” Fang said, suggesting that an increased presence would allow locals to better understand Indians. “It