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Taiwan may reach working holiday agreement with France

TAIPEI--Taiwan and France are likely to reach an agreement based on a reciprocal working holiday program that will allow young adults from the two nations to travel to and work in both countries, French officials said Sunday.

French Senator Catherine Tasca, chairwoman of the French Senate's Franco-Taiwan Friendship Group, said the procedure for reaching the agreement was still in progress and that certain barriers have been eliminated.

Tasca added that the prospective agreement between Taiwan and France had the full support of the group, including hers.

Taiwan, which has made advancements in economics, culture, technology and research, as well as in its capabilities for innovation and invention, was an important partner for France, Tasca said.

Thus, the working holiday program could be instrumental in developing effective future relations between the younger generations of Taiwan and France, said Tasca.

Christophe Gigaudaut, head of the culture, education and science section at the French Office in Taipei, also expressed his confidence in the bilateral working holiday program.

Gigaudaut said the program might also help more Taiwanese students study in France.

Tasca, a member of the French Senate, served as culture minister of France from 2000 to 2002, and had visited the country in 2010. She had come to Taiwan to attend the country's National Day celebrations, which are held on Oct. 10 each year.

Taiwan has been trying to reach a working holiday agreement with France for years, which has similar arrangements with countries such as Canada, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland and Germany.

Taiwan among other countries, such as those in Central and South America, is also interested in making France a working holiday destination for its youth.

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