Vietnamese are permitted to work in Taiwan (China) again, 10 years after the island was put off limits to Vietnamese nationals because so many disappeared rather than return home.

The Overseas Workers Management Department under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs said that Taiwan had decided to allow Vietnamese domestic helpers and fishing crews enter and work from the start of July.

According to a bilateral agreement, domestic helpers will have to pay 2,036 USD (expenses for agency, recruitment, passport and other legal procedures) not including a deposit of 800 USD.

In return, Vietnamese workers will receive at a minimum monthly wage of 17,500 Taiwan dollars (565 USD).

Fees for fishermen amount to 1,550 USD (expenses for recruitment, passport fee and other legal procedures) not including a deposit of 900 USD. Wages amount to about 19,293 Taiwan dollars (623 USD) per month. Contracts are for three years.

Employers must provide workers with free accommodation and at least a one-way airline ticket to return home.

To prevent worker from absconding, the department asked Vietnamese enterprises specialising in sending workers abroad to work closely with Taiwanese partners in managing those about to end their contracts.

State authorities will punish Vietnamese enterprises if they collect more expenses than they are entitled to - or ignore workers' complaints.

The Vietnamese labour ministry has already suspended agreements with companies that did not comply.

Labour exports from Vietnam have faced many challenges in recent years because of runaway workers in the Republic of Korea and Taiwan. In April, the Republic of Korea asked Vietnam to submit 5,400 workers' files, from which 2,900 will be selected to work in manufacturing, construction and agriculture.

Vietnam started to send worker to Taiwan in 1999. Eighty percent were domestic helpers. In 2005, Taiwan stopped accepting them due to the high number who disappeared. About 7,000 Vietnamese are presently working in Taiwan.-VNA