Vietnam guest workers: Essential for success of Taiwan economy

by VOV13 April 2016 Last updated at 17:29 PM

VTV.vn - Taiwan has been systematically recruiting Vietnamese guest workers as an essential prerequisite for the success of its economy for the past 17 years, having employed an estimated 500,000 workers during that timeframe.

Thousands of Vietnamese have escaped the chains of poverty, improved their standard of living while assisting the small island nation off the coast of China in keeping its economy in gear and running at full throttle. Many of them have, for all intents and purposes, become a permanent part of the workforce having returned to the island to work multiple times while assisting friends and relatives find gainful employment as well.

Nong Thi Oanh, a Tay ethnic minority woman from the Chiem Hoa district in Tuyen Quang Province, said she left Vietnam for Taiwan 10 years ago, initially taking a job as a housemaid, later as a factory worker in Taoyuan City.

She signed four work contracts before landing a job she believes is best suited for her qualifications and that she is more than satisfied with.

Most importantly said Mrs Oanh, as a result of her employment in Taiwan she has been able to save a nest egg for her children’s university education, something she never would have been able to do in Vietnam.

“The Taiwanese people warmly welcome Vietnamese guest workers and are most appreciative of the contributions they have made to the continued growth of the nation’s production and prestige on the world market,” said Mrs Oanh.

Nguyen Van Phong - photo: VOV

Nguyen Van Phong - photo: VOV

Nguyen Van Phong from the Luc Nam District of Bac Giang Province, who has been working at a factory in Taoyuan City for the past three years, said he also is hugely satisfied with his job. “I work 8-12 hours per day and sometimes up to 14,” said Mr Phong, and often make as much as US$700-US$800 per month. “My job is stable and my employer is one of the best to work for.”

“My work permit expires next month and I really want to return here to work.”

Mr Phong said the desire for Vietnamese labour is still strong in many industries in Taiwan and by all outward appearances the role of guest workers will become even more prominent in the coming years.

Nguyen Viet Xuan, president of VTC Corp in Taiwan, said his company chose to do business in Taiwan over other locations around the globe primarily because workers earnings are higher.

“The average take-home pay for household and onshore fishermen is much higher in Taiwan than it is in, let’s say the Middle East,” said Mr Xuan.

Currently, around 170,000 Vietnamese guest workers are employed in Taiwan primarily working in the four key industries of –  manufacturing; nursing and personal care; construction; and agriculture, forestry and fishing.

“They earn an average monthly pay of US$600-US$700,” said Mr Xuan.

Nguyen Xuan Tao from the Vietnam Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei, said it is clear that if Taiwan wants to keep its economy in gear it will continue to depend heavily on Vietnam guest workers in the years to come.

Mr Xuan estimates that the island nation will need to employ, on average, nearly 60,000 guest workers per annum.

“It is no longer possible to imagine economic life in Taiwan without guest workers,” said Mr Xuan.

He said good wages and their own frugality give guest workers an opportunity to support their families at a high standard of living and through their work here, they can acquire valuable skills that benefit the Vietnam economy when they return home.


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