Vietnam sent almost 20,000 guest workers overseas in the first quarter of the year, a year-on-year rise of more than 16 percent, according to the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA).

The ministry’s Overseas Labour Management Department (OLMD) said Taiwan received the largest number of Vietnamese guest workers, followed by the Republic of Korea (RoK), Malaysia, Laos and Japan.

This is a positive signal in the context where over 10,000 Vietnamese guest workers in Libya had to return home early to escape from political instability.

MoLISA Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan said it will be difficult to fulfill this year’s target of sending 87,000 Vietnamese workers overseas. Apart from maintaining traditional markets, the ministry will seek new ones to ensure stable placements for workers, she said.

OLMD Deputy Head Dao Cong Hai said that traditional markets, including Japan , Taiwan , RoK and Malaysia , would continue receiving workers.

He also said that Malaysia has a great demand for workers in electronics, automobile accessories manufacturing, plastics, footwear, garment and textiles industries.

A Vietnam-Malaysia seminar on guest workers is slated for April.

OLMD, businesses and vocational training schools have promoted vocational training in hi-tech industries for roles including foremen, construction and welding, to meet increasing demands of labour importers./.