7,000 foreign workers needed in Laos

14:30, July 02, 2011      

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Laos is expected to hire 7,000 skilled foreign workers for development projects as the country lacks its own human resources, the state-run Vientiane Times reported on Friday.

The Lao National Assembly approved the 2011-2012 National Socio- Economic Development Plan in June, which authorizes the influx of 7,000 foreign skilled workers to provide expertise to the nation and investment projects for the next fiscal year.

Laos is expected to attract 23,000 billion kip (2.8 billion U.S. dollars) in investment funding to secure GDP growth of 8.3 percent for the 2011-2012 fiscal year, with 50-60 percent of the investment to come from the private sector through mining and hydropower projects.

The increasing foreign investment in Laos is driving up the demand for foreign workers as the country can't provide sufficient labor for the growing mining and hydropower sector, according to the Lao Ministry of Planning and Investment.

Many companies in Laos have been forced to hire skilled foreign workers to address the shortage, while the Lao government has announced plans to increase the education budget from 11 percent to 19 percent of the total state budget to train more skilled workers and management personnel.

The Ministry of Education and Sports and Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare plan to train and supply over 44,000 new workers each year to meet the demands of state and private investment projects and business expansion over the next few years.

Source: Xinhua

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