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By Philbert Aisaisa

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, Nov. 1) – Taiwanese Government officials revealed last Friday that Taiwan has an agreement with Australia and New Zealand for its citizens to do seasonal work in both countries.

Secretary General of Foreign Affairs Yeong Cho Chen told reporters that Taiwan had signed the "Holiday Maker" agreement with the two countries last year and its citizens, especially students, were already working in both countries.

The revelation came after Pacific Island countries were refused seasonal work arrangements with Australia and New Zealand during the Pacific Island Forum leaders meeting.

Taiwan also announced that it was willing to open its labor market to Pacific Island countries, provided bilateral negotiations on the arrangements of the labor mobility were concluded.

Taiwan had so far imported 400,000 workers from South East Asia and was currently holding discussions with Tuvalu on the importation of seamen to work on Taiwan’s fishing and freight vessels.

Mr. Chen said Taiwan, as a Post Forum Dialogue Partner, was committed to supporting the Pacific Plan and that Taiwan was willing to import workers from Pacific countries.

Meanwhile, Taiwan committed AU$4.5million (US$3.3 million) to help Nauru repatriate workers from Tuvalu and Kiribati living in Nauru.

The agreement was reached last Friday between the four countries in Port Moresby.

November 2, 2005

The National: www.thenational.com.pg/

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