Deputy labour minister Nguyen Thanh Hoa spoke to Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam (Viet Nam Economic Times) about measures to achieve the country's labour export this year.
Is it possible to send 90,000 workers to work aboard as planned?
In the first six months of this year, over 40,100 people were sent to work overseas, accounting for 86.5 per cent of the total in the same period last year but only making up 44.6 per cent of this year's planned number.
Viet Nam's major labour importers include Taiwan, which received 14,000 workers, South Korea with about 7,500 workers, Japan with over 3,900 workers and Laos with 3,300 workers. There is a declining number of Vietnamese workers in most markets.
The situation is predicted to worsen in the second half of this year because economic slowdown constrains enterprises' demand for labour. Meanwhile, I think that the biggest burden for labour export is that Vietnamese guest workers have been breaking labour contracts in many countries.
Labour export to Portugal, one of our new promising markets, may be affected if we fail to ease the phenomenon. If so, it's a pity because the market is really attractive to Vietnamese workers, as monthly income can reach US$1,000.
Do you think tightening the issuance of labour export licencex can help curb the phenomenon?
At present, about 167 companies are licensed to send people to work overseas. Since 2007, few companies have joined this group, and some even returned their licences because they found it impossible to continue operating. Labour export companies can survive only when they understand the market and have enthusiasm.
Meanwhile, there is also another problem: Vietnamese labour export companies lend their licences to foreign companies from Taiwan or mainland China. This causes many difficulties for authorised management bodies.
We can curb the violation, but it's difficult to tackle it wholly because violators are using more and more complicated tricks.
Recently, the ministry has inspected representative offices of labour export companies. Each company is allowed to open one representative office.
The move aims to minimise the transferring of licences. Violating companies will be suspended immediately and the violation will be made public.
What are solutions to boost labour export in the rest of this year?
I think that there should be a policy to recognise the contribution of companies that send a large number of workers overseas. Besides, the ministry co-operates with associations of farmers and women to raise awareness among people, especially for families whose members work overseas. They should equip themselves with proper knowledge when working abroad. If Vietnamese guest workers keep breaking contracts, the action not only affects themselves but thousands of other people.
Last but not least, Viet Nam always encourages and creates favourable conditions for labour export companies. But in turn, the companies must strictly follow regulations. — VNS