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Source of migrants changing.

Taiwan, the main source of Queensland's skilled business migrants for nearly a decade, has finally been overtaken by South Africa, the latest figures reveal.

While Taiwan has been superseded, Indonesia has made a strong surge and is now the State's third most popular source for skilled workers.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development and Trade, Jim Elder, said 353 people from overseas moved to Queensland under the skilled immigration category during 1998-99, an increase of 6.3 per cent over the previous year.

Of the 353 people, 116 came from South Africa (33 per cent); 97 from Taiwan (27 per cent); 34 from Indonesia (10 per cent); and 25 from Hong Kong (7 per cent).

Elder said that throughout all of the 1990s, Taiwan had been the major source of business immigrants, with a well-established Taiwanese business community in Brisbane attracting more Taiwanese immigrants.

"Certainly, Taiwan is still a major source of business immigrants, but South Africa has been building up as a source for a few years now, and has finally overtaken Taiwan," Elder said.

"While all immigrants under the skilled business migration scheme are welcome, those from South Africa generally fit in very well, as there are generally no language problems and the South African business culture is very similar to our own.

"The other noticeable rise in business immigrants has been from Indonesia, which has generally been a source of business immigrants for Melbourne and Perth, but is increasing in Queensland so that it is now number three."

Elder said the criteria for business immigrants was very strict.

Of those who have come to Queensland under the program since 1995, some 88 per cent of skilled business immigrants have successfully established businesses in Queensland and employed more Queenslanders.

"There is a new category which encourages business immigrants into regional areas, and my department will be doing more work on this so that regional Queensland can feel the economic benefits of skilled business immigrants," Elder said.
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Publication:Business Asia
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Sep 30, 1999
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