Lao workers who work abroad send an average of over USD 35.5 million per month back to Laos, or USD 426 million per year, which makes a significant contribution to the country’s economy and foreign currency earnings.
Currently, 303,391 Lao workers work abroad, out of which 100,230 legally applied for jobs and moved to other countries, while 203,161 traveled to neighboring countries without a proper work permit to look for work, Lao Youth Radio reported.
The Lao Prime Minister, Sonexay Siphandone, recently stated during the 5th Ordinary Session of the 9th National Assembly that the government is aware of the importance of these remittances and is taking steps to promote employment for Lao workers both domestically and abroad.
He said that the government established 18 job placement service points at the provincial level and 36 at the district level, with 46 domestic and foreign employment service enterprises situated across the country.
According to the PM, the government is also modernizing the job search service mechanism, developing a national strategy to promote jobs in rural areas, and encouraging self-employment, while also mobilizing financial and technical support from a variety of sources to help Lao workers find jobs.
Additionally, he added that working abroad will help the Lao labor force learn new skills, be disciplined, and be able to use modern technology. As a result, when these workers return to work in Laos, they can use the knowledge they have gained to develop the industry they work in.
The PM informed that the economic impact of Lao workers working abroad is significant, as the foreign currency remittances made by them also assist in strengthening the Lao economy.
On the other hand, more and more Lao workers are keen to seek employment abroad due to high inflation and low minimum wages in the country.
During the recent NA session, many NA members urged the government to increase the minimum wages based on current exchange rates between LAK and USD to prevent workers from leaving the country for better opportunities.