Number of knowledge workers increasing in Taiwan
The number of knowledge workers in Taiwan reached 3.2 million between January and November 2006, up 3.2 percent over the year-earlier level, according to tallies released on January 2 by the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD). The figure compares with 2.35 million in 1996 and 3.07 million in 2005, CEPD officials said.
During the first 11 months of 2006, the number of knowledge workers accounted for 31.7 percent of the country's total employed population, up from 25.9 percent recorded in 1996 and 31 percent in 2005, the officials said.
Among Asia's four little dragons, the number of knowledge workers as a percentage of the employed population in Taiwan in 2005 was lower than Singapore's 37.3 percent and Hong Kong's 34.2 percent but higher than South Korea's 20.9 percent, they said.
A knowledge worker refers to someone who works primarily with information or who develops and uses knowledge in the workplace, such as lawyers, doctors, diplomats, lawmakers, marketeers, software developers, managers and bankers.
CEPD officials pointed out that over the past 10 years, knowledge workers have played a crucial role in boosting Taiwan's industrial development and enhancing the country's employment opportunities.
In particular, knowledge workers have been the prime mover of the country's information and communications technology (ICT) industry, with the number of knowledge workers as a ratio of the total work force of the ICT industry increasing from 43.9 percent in 1996 to 49.1 percent in 2005, they said.
However, they said while the increase in the number of knowledge workers is favorable to the development of the country's innovative industries, Taiwan’s businesses need to work harder in developing their own brand names.
According to the results of a survey jointly released by the Bureau of Foreign Trade, Taiwan External Trade Development Council, the Business Next bi-weekly magazine and Interbrand Corp., although the total value of the top 10 Taiwan-owned international brand names rose from US$3.546 billion in 2003 to US$5.145 billion in 2006, the figure accounted for only 1.4 percent of the country's gross domestic product.
(Source: Central News Agency)