Migrant workers serve to tighten Vietnam-RoK relations hinh anh 1Participants of an online conference is held to review the Vietnam-RoK cooperation in labour, employment and social affairs (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA) - At present, nearly 40,000 Vietnamese are working in the Republic of Korea (RoK) while more than 9,000 RoK firms are operating in the Southeast Asian nation, creating stable jobs for over 700,000 workers. 

The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs together with the Ministry of Employment and Labour and the Embassy of the RoK in Vietnam arranged a virtual conference on August 3 reviewing the Vietnam-RoK cooperation in labour, employment and social affairs, in celebration of the 30th founding anniversary of diplomatic relations. 

The sides exchanged solutions to strengthen bilateral cooperation in a solid, practical and comprehensive manner. 

Over the recent past, Vietnam and the RoK have rolled out various activities in the fields of labour, vocational training, social welfare, and gender equality, bringing in economic benefits for the peoples and firms from the two countries.

Nearly 40,000 Vietnamese are working in the RoK, earning monthly salaries of 1,400 - 1,800 USD.

In regard to vocational education, the RoK is a leading strategic partner with many programmes, projects and activities that support the development of Vietnam's vocational education system.

More than 9,000 foreign direct investment (FDI) enterprises of the RoK are operating in industry. These areas include construction, agriculture, tourism, services and export. These areas create jobs for an excess of 700,000 Vietnamese workers in many localities across the country.

Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Ba Hoan said that the ministry and the RoK Ministry of Employment and Labour have signed cooperation agreements many times from 2004 to 2019. The agreements set up medium- and long-term partnerships as well as expand comprehensive cooperation activities between the two countries in labour, employment and social welfare. 

The two sides are to promote and expand programmes focusing on a number of key contents such as infrastructure, and financial and technical cooperation on the implementation of skilled human resources development projects. 

The two sides will expand the scale and form of labour cooperation including licensing mechanisms, seasonal workers, holiday workers and labour in specific fields. They also plan to maintain cooperation activities to promote social security and ensure sustainable development goals, Hoan emphasised.

To ensure worker benefits as numbers increase, last year, the two sides signed a bilateral social security agreement. This is a comprehensive agreement and a new milestone in social security cooperation between the two countries. 

Kwon Gi-seob, Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour of the RoK, said after the RoK and Vietnam signed a memorandum of understanding on the Employment Permit System (EPS) programme in 1993, the Northeast Asian nation has since received many Vietnamese workers under the scheme. The RoK has exerted solid efforts to maintain the upward trend.

Vietnamese sailors and workers in other sectors are also preparing to go to work in the RoK. Together they have helped to bridge the gap and fostered a sound relationship between the RoK and Vietnam. This is especially so in the field of labour and employment, the RoK official continued.

In addition to bilateral cooperation channels, Vietnam and the RoK actively support each other through multilateral mechanisms. These mechanisms include the Vietnam-RoK Free Trade Agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement, the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Mekong-RoK Cooperation Mechanism, and the ASEAN - RoK Cooperation Mechanism.

Vietnam and the RoK share many similarities in culture and history. During the past three decades of bilateral cooperation, the RoK has been an important partner for Vietnam in various fields. 

At present, the RoK is the largest foreign investor in Vietnam, with more than 9,200 valid projects whose accumulated capital totals 74.7 billion USD as of December 2021.

It is the second largest official development assistance (ODA) provider, and the third largest trading partner of Vietnam. Bilateral trade turnover reached 78 billion USD in 2021. The two countries had originally established a strategic cooperative partnership in 2009./.