Laos, South Korea Sign Agreement on Financing Lao Workers Overseas

Laos, South Korea Sign Agreement on Financing Lao Workers Overseas
Lao workers waiting in line at the airport to depart to South Korea (photo: Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare)

Laos’ Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and BNK Capital Lao Non-Deposit Taking Microfinance Institution Co., Ltd. (BNK MFI) of the Republic of Korea inked a deal last week to provide financial support for Lao workers to work overseas.

The agreement was signed by the Director of Employment of Laos’ Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare, Ms. Anousone Khamsingsavath, and Managing Director of BNK MFI, Dr. Ko Hyunsik with senior officials from the ministry and Korean nationals as witnesses.

Under the contract, Lao workers will be able to formally work in South Korea with access to low-interest funding sources. They can also create their bank accounts before leaving the country to facilitate the transfer of wages back to Laos.

According to Ms. Anousone, a partnership with BNK MFI will enable the proper processing of documentation related to funding for Lao nationals working in Korea. It will also allow the Lao government to collect data from those who work overseas to develop laws and other important legislation in the future.

The agreement also allows BNK MFI to facilitate seasonal employment of Lao workers in Korea’s agriculture and fishery sectors.

Dr. Ko Hyunsik said on the occasion “Through this partnership with the ministry, BNK MFI aims to provide reasonable financial services to Lao nationals wishing to work abroad and, furthermore, to provide various financial services to the people of Laos.”

“It is hoped that our agency will help promote employment for Lao workers so they can learn new skills and be a part of Laos’ economic development by bringing home income for their families and the country,” he added.

Through arrangements made with the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare there are currently 97,799 Lao nationals working abroad. At 51,728, Thailand employs the highest number of Lao people, followed by 626 people in Japan, and 969 people in South Korea.

Laos is ranked seventh in the list of ASEAN countries whose citizens are employed in South Korea. The top three countries are Vietnam, Phillipines and Indonesia with 55,795, 26,217, and 24,732 workers respectively that hold jobs in the country.