Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam has sent more than 86,000 workers to work abroad in the first eight months of 2018, accounting for 78 percent of the year’s target, according to the Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs.

In August alone, the number of guest workers amounted to 13,100 people, most of whom went to Japan (6,880 people), Taiwan (5,130 people), and the Republic of Korea (540 people).

The ministry expects to send about 110,000 Vietnamese labourers to work overseas in 2018.

Currently, a total of 340 labour export companies are operating throughout the country, mainly in the capital city of Hanoi and the southern largest economic hub of Ho Chi Minh City.

To ensure the workers’ qualifications and protect their rights, the ministry has got tougher on these enterprises by increasing inspections. It has found violations of guest worker recruitment regulations at nine companies which have been fined a total of nearly 600 million VND (25,750 USD)

Last year, over 134,700 workers went to work abroad, including 53,340 female workers. The figure exceeded the annual plan set for 2017 by 28.3 percent. This is also the fourth consecutive year that the number of workers sent overseas has surpassed the 100,000 benchmark.

Taiwan topped the list of countries and territories in hiring Vietnamese guest workers with 67,000 people in 2017, nearly half of the total number. By the end of 2017, the number of Vietnamese workers working in Taiwan stood at 206,184, with 87 percent employed in industrial manufacturing and 13 percent in social services.

Japan came second with 54,504 workers from Vietnam in 2017, up 36.47 percent from 2016, bringing the total number of Vietnamese labourers in Japan to over 100,000, the highest among 15 countries sending workers to Japan.

This year, Japan is the most attractive market as it allows Vietnamese labourers to return to work for a second time in many sectors. Higher wages were also offered while Vietnamese are permitted to extend their working time to five years.

Other labour markets receiving large numbers of Vietnamese workers are the Republic of Korea (over 5,100 workers), Saudi Arabia (3,626), Malaysia (1,551), Algeria (760) and Romania (683).–VNA