Labour ministry seeks entry for nearly 8,500 foreign experts hinh anh 1At Tan Son Nhat airport (Photo:
Hanoi (VNA) - The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) has proposed the government to lift a ban and allow on a priority basis for 8,459 highly skilled foreign workers – out of the thousands who have been kept out – to enter Vietnam since it has been difficult to find replacements for them.

According to a report it sent to the Prime Minister on March 30, the MoLISA said more than 68,500 foreign nationals are licenced to work in Vietnam, mostly from the Republic of Korea (23,581) and China (15,310).

Most of them, mainly professionals or highly skilled workers at enterprises, have not been able to return to Vietnam after the Tet (Lunar New Year) holidays in late January due to movement restrictions due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19, which has caused a great deal of difficulties for those businesses, the ministry said.

They were told to find replacements for them, but most said it takes a long time to find people for such positions since it requires outstanding professional qualifications, management experience and foreign language skills and not many Vietnamese can meet those requirements right away, it said.

If the shortage of highly skilled workers continues, it would greatly affect the operations of the companies and affect the progress of many key national projects, the MoLISA warned. 

Local administrations and foreign diplomatic missions have asked to prioritise entry for 8,459 foreign workers, mostly from China and the Republic of Korea, according to the ministry. 

They include some 2,000 employees of national key projects that use new technologies, including the China-funded Cat Linh–Ha Dong urban rail project in Hanoi, which requires around 100 Chinese experts or the Vinh Tan 1 Thermal Power Plant project, with 76 Chinese experts needed; LG Display plant in Hai Phong (200 Korean engineers); Samsung Display Vietnam Co., Ltd. in Bac Ninh (700); Samsung Electro-Mechanics Vietnam Co., Ltd. and its partner company in Tai Nguyen (150); and Texhong Co., Ltd. (77).

The proposal comes amid a range of stringent social distancing measures ordered country-wide by the Government from April 1 to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, which has shown no signs of stopping./.