The Labour Minister Mr. Suchart Chomklin, Assistant to the Labour Minister Mr. Surachai Chaitrakulthong, Permanent Secretary of Labour, Mr. Boonchob Suttamanaswong, Assistant Minister from the Prime Minister’s Office, performing duties for the Ministry of Labour, Mr. Suthi Sukosol, the Ministry of Labour’s Spokesperson (on politics), Mrs. Thienrat Navamawat, and the Department of Employment’s Director-General, Mr. Pairoj Chotiksetian, paid a courtesy call to Mr. Lee Jeong-sik, Ministry of Employment and Labour of the Republic of Korea, to discuss issues on labour, the labour market expansion, the employment permit system for foreign workers (EPS) and solving illegal labour problems. Mr. Bancha Yuenyongjongcharoen, the Thai Ambassador in Seoul, and Mr. Nithipat Wattanasuwakul, Minister Counselor (on Labour), also participated in this event at the Ministry of Employment and Labour, the Republic of Korea.
Mr. Suchart said that the government under the leadership of Prime Minister and Minister of Defense General Prayuth Chan-ocha, and the Deputy Prime Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan, has given importance to promoting Thai people to work abroad. The Ministry of Labour thanked the Korean government for taking good care of Thai workers. Today was an opportunity to pay respects to the government to discuss labour matters, especially cooperation in expanding the labour market through the Foreign Workers Employment Permit System (EPS). During the COVID-19 situation, Thailand was among the first countries to have intensive labour screenings before traveling and is ready to send workers to work in the Republic of Korea. Therefore, he requested that Korean authorities consider increasing the quota for the delivery of workers through the EPS system to Thailand. As for the extension of the working age in the EPS system, the Korean government has the policy to promote the work of the elderly. Therefore, there is a need to adjust the limitations on the advanced age of workers to provide opportunities for elderly workers with high work experience to work in Korea while solving the problem of illegal labour. Thailand is willing to share experiences of legal labour registration to contribute to driving the South Korean economy properly and to be protected by relevant laws.
Currently, there are 22,663 Thai workers working in South Korea under the EPS system. Most of them work in the manufacturing, construction, agriculture, and livestock sectors. After the Covid-19 situation, the South Korean government will not require quarantine on entering the country. When the labour imports return to normal, it will benefit Thai workers. On this occasion, the Labour Minister, Mr. Suchart, discussed measures to take care of workers in Thailand during the Covid-19 crisis. in the past too. Both parties exchanged labour policies and strengthened cooperation in sending Thai workers to work in the Republic of Korea.
Mr. Lee Jeong-sik, Minister of Employment and Labour of the Republic of Korea, said that on behalf of the South Korean government, they thanked the Thai Labour Minister and his delegation for visiting and strengthening labour cooperation today. Thai workers play a big role in driving South Korea’s economy. This is because Thai workers in South Korea currently have the second largest number of all foreign workers who come to work in South Korea. As for the issues of discussion today, they will coordinate with relevant departments to expedite action and provide updates on progress.
Division of Public Relations
24 June 2022