TAIPEI (TVBS News) — In the wake of escalating trade tensions and a tech war between China and the U.S., multinational supply chains are increasingly moving from mainland China to Southeast Asia.
This transition is largely driven by the youthful workforce and rapid economic growth in the ASEAN region, drawing Taiwanese professionals in search of new opportunities.
In 2021, Indonesia led ASEAN with the largest labor force, reaching 130 million, followed by Vietnam with 55 million, and the Philippines with 44 million. These nations share a relatively young demographic, averaging around 30 years in median age.
Thailand's Rising Appeal
Thailand, in particular, has garnered attention for its strategic advantages. A professor from the National Taipei University of Education emphasized Thailand's appeal, noting its abundant water resources and incentives such as land benefits and tax advantages, especially in northern regions.
These factors make Thailand an attractive destination for industries that demand significant water usage, such as the electronics sector prevalent in Taiwan.
Mr. Pan, a Taiwanese national working in Thailand, shared his experience: "I seized the chance when I saw the government promoting the New Southbound policy and its 'Overseas Taiwanese Teaching Abroad' program. The cost of living in Thailand is about half of Taiwan's, and the salary is slightly higher, so it's possible to save money. This was the most significant incentive for me to work abroad."
Lin Yung-neng, director of Business Administration in Southeast Asia at the National Taipei University of Education, also commented on the benefits of working in Thailand, including the financial and resource-based incentives.
Taiwan and Thailand: A Synergistic Approach
Recognizing the need for technical talent, Thailand is proactively establishing training centers in collaboration with Taiwan.
Additionally, the country aims to achieve a target of 30% electric vehicles in its automotive production and plans to install 12,000 direct charging stations by 2030. Thailand's proactive approach to electric vehicles distinguishes it as a leader in Southeast Asia, attracting manufacturers worldwide.
Taiwan, addressing its own labor challenges and aiming for a 2050 net-zero goal, draws inspiration from Thailand's strategies. This has led to collaborative efforts to promote Taiwanese talent globally and invite international investment into Taiwan's evolving economy.