Facilitating labor exports to Saudi Arabia

09:51 | 22/05/2014 Economy- Society

(VEN) - Vietnam considers Saudi Arabia as a major labor export market in the Middle East. However, visa-related problems are hindering Vietnamese labor exports to this market.

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Saudi Arabia is a populous country and a financial, economic center of the Middle East region. It has high demand for foreign workers. Among the total of about 30 million workers in this country, more than eight million workers come from other countries such as India, Bangladesh, Palestine and Vietnam.

Currently, about 15,000 Vietnamese people are working in Saudi Arabia. The number of Vietnamese workers in Saudi Arabia has tended to increase in recent years, especially domestic servants. In 2012-2013, 10 companies were engaged in supplying domestic servants for Saudi Arabian families. In 2014, the number of companies operating in this field increased to 15. Currently, there are 2,000 Vietnamese domestic servants in Saudi Arabia. Due to difficulties in exporting workers to other markets, many businesses have promoted worker exports to Saudi Arabia.

Dao Cong Hai, Deputy Director of the Overseas Labor Management Department of the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, said that Saudi Arabia had high demand for domestic servants but actual supplies were yet to meet the demand. Procedures which are required to export workers to Saudi Arabia are simple. Workers have to pay almost no charges. Labor export companies are even paid by Saudi Arabian partners. However, according to labor export companies, they have met difficulties in opening their representative offices in Saudi Arabia, especially in applying for visas. The Bach Dang Import-Export and Construction Joint Stock Company’s Hai Duong Branch has found a large partner in Saudi Arabia but failed in its application for visas and finally had to open a representative office in another country at a high cost.

Traenco Joint Stock Company Deputy General Director Ngo Van Long said, “Applying for visas to enter Saudi Arabia is very difficult. Without a visa we cannot open our representative office in Saudi Arabia to deal with problems which arise with workers and increase our market share in this country.”

Deputy Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Thanh Hoa said that visa-related problems must be resolved to facilitate labor exports to Saudi Arabia. The state will help businesses overcome difficulties when applying for a visa, he added

Deputy Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyen Thanh Hoa:Labor export companies must associate with each other to open joint representative offices in Saudi Arabia. The Vietnamese Embassy in Saudi Arabia will help them overcome difficulties, especially those related to visas.

The deputy minister requested companies which have exported more than 300 workers to Saudi Arabia to work in different fields and those which have supplied 100 domestic servants for Saudi Arabian families to send their representatives to Saudi Arabia to do management jobs. Companies which have exported fewer workers or associated with these companies to export more than 300 workers to Saudi Arabia are also required to send their representatives to the country to do management jobs. Labor export companies must ensure the quality of workers and organize training courses to provide workers with knowledge about the culture and habits of Saudi Arabian people.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Tran Nguyen Tuyen affirmed that the Vietnamese Embassy would create favorable conditions for labor export companies to open their representative offices in Saudi Arabia. The government will sign a labor agreement with Saudi Arabia to facilitate operations of Vietnamese labor export companies in this market. The Vietnamese Government has requested the Saudi Arabian side to sign an agreement on visa exemption for those who hold diplomatic and official passports. Ambassador Tran Nguyen Tuyen said that labor export companies must have long-term strategies and seriously invest in worker training to make the most of opportunities from the Saudi Arabian market./.                    

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