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Chinese businesses must hire Taiwanese: president

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- President Ma Ying-jeou said yesterday that mainland Chinese-invested businesses in Taiwan will be forced to hire locals as employees, adding that in order to attract locals, they will necessarily have to offer higher salaries.

The president explained that mainland Chinese investors were allowed to invest in Taiwan since June 2009.

As of January this year, 495 mainland Chinese-invested firms have been set up in Taiwan, bringing 264 mainland Chinese executives and their family members to the island, Ma said, adding, however, that 9,624 Taiwanese locals have subsequently been hired.

The administration is not worried that mainlanders will take jobs from locals because the pact simply doesn't allow mainland Chinese investors to bring over their laborers, Ma said.

Given the circumstances, mainland Chinese businesses in Taiwan will be forced to hire locals, and if they want to attract talent from other companies, they will have to offer higher salaries, Ma said, stressing that investment in the service and manufacturing sectors will create more job opportunities.

Taiwan began allowing its businesspeople to invest in mainland China more than two decades ago, and since then, an estimated US$150 billion has been invested in mainland China, creating roughly 10 million job opportunities, Ma said.

Investment creates jobs, and this is also true in terms of mainland Chinese investment in Taiwan, the president said.

Since 2009, mainland Chinese investors have invested US$870 million in Taiwan, Ma said, pointing toward the disparity between Taiwanese investment in mainland China and vice versa.

In order to balance investment and commerce between the two sides of the strait, opening up the market to mainland Chinese investment is inevitable, Ma said.

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