The Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs will accelerate the sending of skilled workers abroad while consolidating such traditional markets as Taiwan and Japan in 2014.

Nguyen Ngoc Quynh, head of the Overseas Labour Management Department under the MoLISA, made the statement in Hanoi on January 3.

The Republic of Korea will resume receiving Vietnamese guest workers following a special memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed recently between the two countries within the framework of the RoK’s Employment Permit System (EPS) programme, he said.

The MoU is valid for one year starting from December 31, 2013, opening new opportunities for nearly 16,000 labourers who registered or passed Korean language tests during 2011 and 2012.

The RoK temporarily ceased its EPS programme with Vietnam in 2012, reasoning that the number of runaway Vietnamese workers who overstayed their visas to work illegally in the country had steadily increased and shown no sign of improvement.

Statistics released by businesses show that 88,155 Vietnamese labourers went abroad in 2013, 3,000 more than the set target.

Taiwan takes the lead with nearly 46,400 Vietnamese guest workers, followed by Japan, Malaysia, the RoK, Laos, Cambodia, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.-VNA