Governor Kim Yung-rok of South Jeolla Province has spoken about plans to increase people-to-people exchanges with Thailand. The local government is strengthening cooperation with the Minister of Employment and Labor regarding shipbuilding, agriculture, and fisheries.[The Ministry of SMEs and Startups Manager, Oh Su-mi, 286-7210, Employment Policy Team Leader, Noh Jeong-ho, 286-3770]
Jeollanam-do Governor Kim Yung-rok visited Thailand and met with Labour Minister Suchhat Chomklin in Bangkok on the afternoon of January 16th and discuss expanding personnel exchanges between Jeollanam-do and Thailand in the fields of manufacturing, agriculture, fisheries, and shipbuilding.
The meeting was held to diversify the countries providing foreign workers to the region. Currently, foreign workers in South Jeolla are mainly from Vietnam and Uzbekistan, with a smaller percentage being from other Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand. Currently, South Korea is facing a situation where labor shortages are worsening. Due to a surge in ship orders, South Jeolla is in a particularly vulnerable position.
Governor Kim Yung-rok said that the Korean government recently improved the system of recruiting and employing migrant workers following the suggestion of the South Jeolla provincial government. The annual quota for skilled workers in the shipbuilding industry has increased from 2,000 to 5,000 and a separate quota for 400 people has been implemented. 400 people can come through an expedited visa process as part of a region-specific visa system.
In addition, he proposed cooperation with the Thai government, claiming that there are more than 1,200 openings in the shipbuilding industry. Employers include Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries and Daehan Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. Jobs in the industry will increase exponentially by 2025. Also, there are even other jobs in various fields, such as rural agricultural workers.
Labour Minister Suchhat Chomklin responded, “In Thailand, there are not only skilled personnel who can work in Korean shipyards but also a lot of workers in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors. Since Chonburi Province has a workforce skilled in shipbuilding and manufacturing, I hope to establish friendly and cooperative relations between South Jeolla and Chonburi Province.” He then asked for support from Thai workers already in South Jeolla to assist newcomers.
Governor Kim Yung-rok said, “Please cooperate with the Thai government to increase exchanges between South Jeolla and Thai metropolitan organizations. Also, when shipbuilding companies in Korea first identify and request the need for labor, let these two local governments agree to work together and fill the gap.” Minister Suchhat Chomklin answered, “Let’s strengthen our cooperation in the future.”
South Jeolla hopes to expand connections in various fields like tourism and culture through the meetings, including with the Thai government, Thai metropolitan organizations, and foreign workers.
Minister Suchhat Chomklin, a native of Chonburi Province, visited Korea in June last year and has expressed a strong interest in Thai workers in Korea while visiting companies employing Thais.
Source: JeollaNamdo News