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May 28, 2017

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France, Taiwan work toward working holiday agreement

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A technical issue within the French government is preventing the European country from signing a reciprocal youth working holiday agreement with Taiwan, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) official said yesterday.

Zhang Ming-zhong (張銘忠), MOFA's director-general of European affairs, said at a news briefing yesterday that the Minister of the Interior in France is currently amending an administrative issue to pave the way for the possible signing of the pact.

Once the administrative order is amended, the two sides will be able to move on to a more detailed discussion of the agreement, including age limits and the annual quota, Zhang noted.

Now the ball is in France's court, Zhang said. The ministry hopes there will be significant progress on France's part following the conclusion of the summer break, he noted.

Taiwan has been trying to reach a working holiday deal with France for years. Little progress has been made on the possible signing of the reciprocal youth working holiday agreement for two years.

Zhang yesterday disclosed that Taiwan is expected to sign a working holiday deal with a European country by the end of the year at the earliest. He did not specifically name the country, however.

  Taiwan has now signed reciprocal working holiday agreements with 11 countries, six of them in Europe, namely Slovakia, Germany, Ireland, Belgium, the United Kingdom and Hungary.

  The other five countries are Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.

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