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Better Pay, Lower Costs in Vietnam Entice Taiwanese Workers Away From Home

Destinations such as Vietnam and India are enticing Taiwanese companies and workers to settle down.

According to a report on Nikkei Asian Review, Taiwanese job seekers and companies are flowing to Southeast Asian countries and India because of higher wages, lower living costs and more job opportunities. While China is also a popular destination for Taiwanese companies, recent US-China trade tensions are a growing concern.

According to data from 104 Job Bank, which Nikkei cited, the number of Taiwanese workers aged 25 to 29 that headed to Southeast Asia for jobs increased by 62% between 2014 and 2017.

"I earn twice what I could get in Taiwan," said Zoe Wu, who is working at a footwear maker in Vietnam. "It's very easy for people to save up to $30,000 in two or three years here. That's something I could never imagine if I just stayed in Taipei," she adds.

Bevin Su, a manager of a quality control team at a Nike footwear supplier in Saigon, also found leaving Taiwan for Vietnam helps him achieve better pay and living conditions. According to Su, the entry salary for Taiwanese graduates in Vietnam would be at least US$1,140 a month, which can rise to between US$1,500 and US$1,600 after the probation period, compared to $927 back home.

Companies are moving productions to Southeast Asia and India as well. In 2017, investments from Taiwan to Southeast Asian and India increased 54% compared with the previous year.

Gordon Sun, director of the macroeconomic forecasting center at the Taiwan Institute of Economic Research, however, is concerned that this trend is causing a brain drain for Taiwan.

"The government should be worried that there is less talent coming the other way from Southeast Asian countries," he said, adding that the Taiwanese government should take actions to attracts talents from Southeast Asia.

[Photo via Creative Commons]

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