Singapore is the most talked-about Southeast Asian country among netizens in Taiwan, followed by the Philippines and Malaysia, according to a big data survey released Saturday by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA).
Rounding out the top five are Indonesia and Myanmar, the survey revealed.
The ministry said Singapore has invited the most discussion among netizens mainly due to its stable economic growth and the high pay it offers to foreign workers, which makes the city state a very attractive country in which to find a job for young Taiwanese.
Coming in second was the Philippines, which has a controversial president, Rodrigo Duterte, and a large number of migrant workers in Taiwan, the ministry said.
Also, many Philippine online gaming companies targeting Chinese-speaking markets have aggressively recruited talented Taiwanese workers because of their Chinese language skills and high caliber of work, the MOEA said.
In third place was Malaysia, which has a large ethnic Chinese population and maintains frequent cultural, educational and business exchanges with Taiwan, the ministry said.
At present, 8 percent of foreign white-collar professionals working in Taiwan are from Malaysia, the third largest group from a single country after the United States and Japan, according to the MOEA.
Also, many Taiwanese companies have set up branches in Malaysia and hired Taiwanese citizens to take up sales and managerial positions, it added.
Discussion about Indonesia, which came in fourth place, has focused on how to invest and set up operations in the country, which has rich natural resources and a vast market of 250 million people, the ministry said.
Indonesia's mining, car-making and manufacturing industries have long been important targets for international investors, it said.
In fifth spot was Myanmar, which has become the most popular investment destination in Southeast Asia since it introduced political reforms in 2010.
Many netizens are interested in the development potential of the Myanmarese market after the United States lifted its economic sanctions on the country, the MOEA said.
Because Myanmar's infrastructure still has major gaps, however, many Taiwanese businessmen there complain about traffic congestion and power outages, according to the ministry.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel