The number of guest workers working abroad is predicted to increase in 2015, especially as an ASEAN Economic Community is established within the year, said Tong Hai Nam, Deputy Head of the Overseas Labour Management Department (OLMD).

The Ministry of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs (MOLISA) is launching a project to support the conveyance of Vietnamese labourers to foreign markets in accordance with national agreements and labourer supply contracts between domestic companies with foreign partners, Nam revealed.

According to MoLISA Deputy Minister Pham Minh Huan, the ministry will continue to seek out new markets with good working conditions and high wages, while simultaneously maintaining traditional markets in 2015.

Emphasis will be also placed on intensifying training for qualified labourer sources, as well as promoting the signing of skilled-labourer contracts, Huan said.

Vietnam sent a record-high 105,840 guest workers abroad in 2014, 110 percent of the year's target, according to statistics from the OLMD.

Compared to 2013, the number of Vietnamese guest workers sent to Taiwan increased to 62,000 from 46,000, while those working in Japan rose from 9,600 to nearly 20,000.

Nearly 7,000 guest workers were sent to the Republic of Korea (RoK), 5,000 to Malaysia, 4,000 to Saudi Arabia and 1,000 to Qatar, all below previous rates. Compared to 2013, the number of workers in these four markets dropped by about 5,000.

According to Nam, the record numbers of guest workers sent to Taiwan can be attributed to the improved management of labour export companies and the fee reduction policies for workers in Taiwan, while the territory’s economic development policies have created greater demand for guest workers.

In addition to key traditional markets, several newly emerging markets with high incomes will open more opportunities for guest workers, including Africa, the Middle East, and Japan, according to the MoLISA.

Vietnam will also sign agreements in several fields with Angola and Saudi Arabia this year, which will facilitate greater labour export to these countries, said the ministry.

There is also potential to send Vietnamese guest workers to Japan to work in construction, mechanics and manufacturing, agriculture, and food processing between now and 2020.

Many highly skilled Vietnamese guest workers will also have more opportunities to work abroad under ASEAN agreements to allow freer movement of workers with the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community, Nam noted.-VNA