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Meeting looks at overseas workers

Update: November, 06/2013 - 09:21

Around 30,000 Vietnamese labourers currently work in the region, primarily in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Libya and Algeria.— File Photo

HA NOI (VNS) — There was significant potential for Vietnamese labour export to Middle Eastern and North African countries, said participants in a workshop yesterday.

Around 30,000 Vietnamese labourers currently work in the region, primarily in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Libya and Algeria, according to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs' Department of Overseas Labours. Saudi Arabia receives the highest number of Vietnamese workers, currently around 15,000 and mostly in construction, mechanics and transport.

The Middle East and North African market received many unskilled workers and was considered suitable for Vietnamese workers, who were assessed as hardworking and brisk, according to the department.

However, participants agreed that geographical distance and differences in customs, culture, climate and religion continued to hinder co-operation between Viet Nam and the Middle East and North African nations.

Vietnamese workers also face competition with labourers from other countries in terms of both skills and foreign language abilities. Palestinian Ambassador to Viet Nam Saadi Salama said that Middle Eastern and North African countries needed many foreign workers, but Vietnamese labourers often failed to meet their requirements.

While Vietnamese workers were industrious and professional, they lacked essential skills and needed to be trained before working abroad, he said, recommending that Viet Nam build vocational training centres that would teach workers not only about the jobs they would have abroad but also about the customs and cultures of other countries.

Labour co-operation between the regions has been developed for 10 years. However, Vietnamese Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Tran Nguyen Tuyen stressed the need for a long-term strategy to boost labour co-operation. — VNS

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