UAE has huge labour potential

Published: 18/02/2009 05:00



LookAtVietnam – Viet Nam’s Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Nguyen Quang Khai spoke to Tien Phong (The Vanguard) newspaper about opportunities for Vietnamese labours working in the UAE.

Recently, there have been 5,000 Vietnamese workers signing contracts with a UAE business group to work in this country.

The UAE is facing negative impacts from the global financial-economic crisis. The UAE’s government has scaled back some projects; however, the nation’s economic potentials are obvious. A large number of foreign workers are still required for major projects. Recently, there have been 5,000 Vietnamese workers signing contracts with a UAE business group to work in this country.

Nonetheless, Vietnamese enterprises and labours should pay better attention to improving working skills and attitudes as almost all UAE businesses concentrate on selecting highly-skilled labourers and they send home workers without good abilities and behaviour. This could be considered as a chance for Viet Nam’s enterprises to re-examine the quality of our workers.

The UAE is now recruiting labourers in construction, so that it is essential for Vietnamese labour export firms to focus on this sector.

How do you evaluate the situation of Vietnamese guest workers in the UAE?

Foreign workers in general and Vietnamese workers in particular in the UAE are working and living under good conditions. The UAE’s Ministry of Labour keeps an eye on the interests of foreign labourers. Any unfair treatment of labourers by employers, such as paying salaries that are lower than agreed upon in contracts, providing insecure living conditions and increasing working hours without agreement, will raise concerns in the ministry. Enterprises that repeat the offences will have their licences withdrawn.

Income for foreign labourers is good for unskilled labourers, at about US$250-300 plus bonus per month.

In addition to jobs for unskilled labourers, is it possible to find jobs for highly-skilled workers in order to raise the incomes from export labour?

Jobs for highly-skilled workers are definitely available, as UAE business groups also recruit managers, engineers and foremen. These positions could earn workers $2,500-3,000 per month. Such high-income jobs are very stable for workers, so Vietnamese enterprises should concentrate on gaining contracts for this type of work.

What are some of the pitfalls for Vietnamese labours working in the UAE?

Discipline and security for Vietnamese labourers is generally good due to the country’s strict laws. However, fights and robberies still occur sometimes, and if it is the fault of the guest workers, this will seriously tarnish the prestige of Vietnamese workers among the local business community. It is important for Vietnamese enterprises to consider the UAE as a strategic market since capturing the UAE labour market means being able to widen this market across the Middle East.

What prospects does the official visit to the UAE by PM Nguyen Tan Dung provide to the two nations’ co-operative ties in general and the development of labour export in particular?

During the PM’s visit, the two countries signed several important documents such as agreements on double-taxation avoidance, investment encouragement and protection and establishment of joint committees for co-operation in the economy, culture and technology and science. Agreements were also signed on co-operation between the two foreign ministries and a co-operation memorandum on labour between Viet Nam’s Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs and the UAE’s Ministry of Labour.

Which enterprises would you recommend for Vietnamese labourers hoping to work overseas?

The Air Service Supply Joint Stock Company (AIRSECO), the Advanced International Joint Stock Company (AIC) and the Labour Overseas Deployment Corporation (LOD) are highly recommended as they are not only very professional in tracking market demand for labour, but they also act in a responsible manner with their labourers.

At present, AIRSECO has opened its representative office in the UAE and Qatar for resolving labourers’ difficulties. In the near future, all Vietnamese enterprises exporting labourers to the region will have to establish representative offices in order to have timely and accurate resolutions for workers.

VietNamNet/Viet Nam News

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