Labour shortage a major challenge in Laos

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Laos factoryInvestors in Laos, both local and foreign, are  encountering growing problems due to the chronic labour shortage in the country, it turned out at the 8th Lao Business Forum held in Vientiane on August 20.

The shortfall of labourers is around 31,000, Onesy Boudsivongsakd senior advisor to the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry said according to the Vientiane Times. Sugar and rubber plantations would need “several thousand more,” he added and urged to government to find “appropriate solutions.”

The 31,000 workers in question are required for the garment industry, processing industry, tourism, steel rod production, furniture production association, construction groups, KP industry group, and the Nikon and Essiloz companies in the Savannakhet economic zone.

These sectors have a current labour pool of 187,750 people, according to a handout distributed at the forum.

The garment industry alone requires an additional 9,930 people each year. At present, however, only 650 labourers are available. The tourism sector currently employs 28,100 people and needs an additional 2,400 each year. The construction sector employs 100,000 people but needs an extra 5,500 workers.

However, in the midst of this labour shortage, some 100,000 people are crossing the border to seek work in other countries, and there are no controls in place to stop the exodus. Many areas in the central and southern provinces have no young people to work in the rice fields since most prefer to work in other countries, leaving the job of subsistence farming to the older folk.

“We are well aware that in 2015 Laos will become part of the Asean Economic Community (AEC). If we allow the current situation to continue, how can we expect to produce quality or competitive goods and commodities for sale within the AEC market?” Boudsivongsakd asked.

The labour shortage is a major challenge both for existing investors and those just setting up business in Laos. Even though the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare has created 15 employment agencies, there is still a serious labour shortfall.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Investors in Laos, both local and foreign, are  encountering growing problems due to the chronic labour shortage in the country, it turned out at the 8th Lao Business Forum held in Vientiane on August 20.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Laos factoryInvestors in Laos, both local and foreign, are  encountering growing problems due to the chronic labour shortage in the country, it turned out at the 8th Lao Business Forum held in Vientiane on August 20.

The shortfall of labourers is around 31,000, Onesy Boudsivongsakd senior advisor to the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry said according to the Vientiane Times. Sugar and rubber plantations would need “several thousand more,” he added and urged to government to find “appropriate solutions.”

The 31,000 workers in question are required for the garment industry, processing industry, tourism, steel rod production, furniture production association, construction groups, KP industry group, and the Nikon and Essiloz companies in the Savannakhet economic zone.

These sectors have a current labour pool of 187,750 people, according to a handout distributed at the forum.

The garment industry alone requires an additional 9,930 people each year. At present, however, only 650 labourers are available. The tourism sector currently employs 28,100 people and needs an additional 2,400 each year. The construction sector employs 100,000 people but needs an extra 5,500 workers.

However, in the midst of this labour shortage, some 100,000 people are crossing the border to seek work in other countries, and there are no controls in place to stop the exodus. Many areas in the central and southern provinces have no young people to work in the rice fields since most prefer to work in other countries, leaving the job of subsistence farming to the older folk.

“We are well aware that in 2015 Laos will become part of the Asean Economic Community (AEC). If we allow the current situation to continue, how can we expect to produce quality or competitive goods and commodities for sale within the AEC market?” Boudsivongsakd asked.

The labour shortage is a major challenge both for existing investors and those just setting up business in Laos. Even though the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare has created 15 employment agencies, there is still a serious labour shortfall.

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