Vietnam hopes to send 90,000 labourers abroad this year, nearly 2,000 more than last year's figure, according to the Overseas Labour Management Department.

A Lao Dong (Labour) report said earlier this week, the department will strictly monitor labour export markets to sign labour contracts in time, focusing especially on markets that offer high income, and are safe and suitable for Vietnamese workers, such as Taiwan , Japan and the Republic of Korea .

The department will also continue activities to open up new labour export markets such as the US , Australia and Canada , while increasing the outflow to the Middle East when conditions are suitable.

The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) has said that it will give priority this year to sending labourers abroad from the country's 62 poorest districts.

At the end of last year, the ministry had worked with Japanese authorities to send more workers to Japan this year.

According to the ministry, although the number of Vietnamese guest workers sent to Japan is not large, they are mostly high-skilled workers.

This year, for instance, Vietnam expects to send 500-1,000 trainee nurses to Japan .

The Japanese market has high demand for guest workers, but it is difficult to expand this market because it has strict requirements, the Lao Dong report cited experts as saying.

Malaysia is another key market for Vietnam , but the basic salary offered in this country is low that many Vietnamese workers have turned their back on this market, according to the report.

Representatives of several labour export companies have warned workers who want to work abroad to carefully choose markets that are suitable for their financial status, professional skills and health.

Labourers should also be aware of labour export scam brokers, they said.

Last year Vietnam sent 88,298 labourers abroad, exceeding the country's target of 87,000.

This is very significant because 2011 was a year full of difficulties for the labour export sector, given the world economic crisis and political instability in many countries, said MoLISA minister Pham Thi Hai Chuyen./.