Business may be allowed to hire more foreign workers
Business operating in Laos may be given the right to employ more foreign workers if they cannot recruit domestic ones, as the government is keen to satisfy the needs of foreign investors.
Under article 36 of the draft Law on Labour Managements, the proportion of foreign manual labourers hired by company should be no more than 10 percent of the total, while the proportion of foreign expert hired should not exceed 20 percent. However, if necessary, a company can request government approval to employ more foreign workers.
The Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare is expected to submit the draft law to the cabinet and National Assembly for consideration and approval in the near future, after completing a law consultation process with the parties involved, notably business operators, who will have for enforce the Law.
The Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the International Labour Organization yesterday hosted a meeting to give 50 business representatives the chance to comment on draft Law on Labour Management.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Chamber representative Mr. Onesy Boutsivongsackd said the occasion presented a good opportunity for businesspeople to contribute to the draft of the law, which will directly impact on their business operations.
He said the law should facilitate the government’s policy to encourage domestic and foreign investment in Laos, creating jobs and raising incomes so that the nation can graduate from least developed country status by 2020.
Mr. Onesy added that the law should create favourable conditions for Lao businesses to compete with foreign companies.
Laos is expecting to be admitted to the World Trade Organisation at the end of this year and to join the Asean Free Trade Area in 2015, which will mean the removal of import duty on foreign goods.
At present, the government charge import duty on foreign products as part of its policy to protect Lao companies and generate revenue. A number of foreign businesses in Laos have called on the government to relax restrictions on the hiring of foreign workers, saying the skills of local workers are inadequate.
Policymakers have agreed to allow companies to hire more overscas workers if they cannot hire sufficiently skilled local labour so that work is not slowed due to the shortage of manpower.
Their hope is that foreign workers will transfer their knowledge and skills to Lao workers so they can eventually take charge of business operations here.
Under the National Socio-economic Development Plan for 2011/2012, the government expects to create new 55,360 jobs. This is thought to be possible due to the increase in domestic and foreign investment in Laos.
Source by : Vientiane Time
Photo by : LNCCI