Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Foreign workers flock to Vietnam

is fast becoming one of the best places to work in Southeast Asia for both white and blue-collar foreign workers.

Though official statistics are hard to come by, it is estimated that 90,000 foreigners are now living and working in Vietnam .

It is not just project experts or high-ranking executives making the move, but manual laborers also come here on a tourism visa.

Jesper Lund, managing director of CSR Vietnam Co. Ltd. said foreigners could find jobs with reasonable wages easily in Vietnam when they would have to toil under high pressure and the threat of job insecurity in developed countries.

Many international companies are expanding business in Vietnam in response to the strong development of its economy and industry.

Many Japanese companies are determined to deepen their business ties to Southeast Asia, where Vietnam is considered by many to be the region’s best destination, according to Takayuki Nanbu and Katsuiji Taki, Japanese engineers working at the Bien Hoa and the Binh Duong industrial parks.

Aside from white-collar workers, manual laborers, especially those from Africa and the Middle East, are making the move to Vietnam to find jobs.

In the past two years, some 5,000 workers from Africa and the Middle East have worked in sales, delivery and porter services and construction with an average daily income of 100,000 VND (6.1 USD) in Vietnam.

Foreign blue-collar workers gather in small groups in HCM City’s Binh Chanh and Tan Phu districts as well as Binh Tan district’s An Lac ward, said Tran Van Chien of HCM City-based Tat Dat Co Ltd.

According to the online job site VietnamWorks.com, the number of foreign workers in the first quarter of this year rose 67 percent over the fourth quarter of last year.

Moreover, requests for foreign labour in the second quarter were 17 percent more than the first quarter.

This increase of foreign labor means companies have more options for the personnel, said Nguyen Thi Van Anh, personnel manager of the Navigos Group’s Human Resource Consulting and Training Centre.

However, businesses should still commit to a long-term personnel strategy that includes local workers, especially in high-ranking positions, she said. (PNA/VNA)