A security guard stands in front of the Taiwan Central Bank logo in Taipei .
A security guard stands in front of the Taiwan Central Bank logo in Taipei .

Bank tackles low marriage rate

By Time of article published May 11, 2012

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Other than setting interest rates and managing foreign reserves, Taiwan's central bank has added the role of matchmaking to its powerful mandate, an official said on Friday.

The central bank is organising tours to several destinations in Taiwan and inviting unmarried employees from some of Taiwan's largest public-and private-sector organisations to sign up, according to a copy of the invitation obtained by dpa.

“We're doing this to support the government's policy of increasing marriage rates,” said Wen Chiao-chun, the spokeswoman for the programme.

Participating organisations include the presidential office, the legislature, Chunghwa Telecom Co, Mega International Commercial Bank Co and Hsinchu Science Park, which is home to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co and flat-panel makers AU Optronics Corp and Chimei Innolux Corp.

The tours include a daytrip to launch sky lanterns in New Taipei and an afternoon of speed dating in an upscale Taipei hotel.

The itineraries provide plenty of group activities, plus opportunities for potential couples to split off on their own.

In the invitation, the bank billed the tours as a chance to boost “cooperation” between the public and private sectors.

The programme is the latest in a series of policies that the government has tried implementing to boost marriage and fertility rates, both at critical lows.

Existing programmes include subsidies for child care and fertility treatments as well as cash bonuses per birth.

Government statistics in 2011 showed 25.7 percent of those in the 30-49 age range have never married.

The low marriage rate also decreased the number of babies being born. At 1.07 births per woman in 2011, Taiwan's fertility rate is far below the 2.1 replacement rate that many demographers have set for a stable population in industrialised countries. - Sapa-dpa

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