On January 25, 2022, at 16.00 hours, according to the local time in Riyadh, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Labour Minister Mr. Suchart Chomklin joined the delegation of Prime Minister and Minister of Defense General Prayuth Chan-ocha. Both parties normalized relations between the two kingdoms. They stressed the importance of promoting friendly relations and opening a new era of relations between Thailand and Saudi Arabia. Thailand attaches great importance to friendly relations with Saudi Arabia. Thailand and Saudi Arabia considered cooperation and mutual intentions to restore friendship and friendly relations, including completely normalizing diplomatic relations. This historic achievement results from a long-standing effort at various levels by both parties to restore trust and friendly relations between them. Labour Minister Mr. Suchart Chomklin paid a courtesy call and held bilateral discussions with Ahmad Sulaiman AL Rajhi, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, to strengthen labour cooperation. The occasion took place at the King Saud Guest Palace, Saudi Arabia. Mr. Suchart said that from the discussions in this, both Thailand and Saudi Arabia had a consensus to accelerate cooperation in the future, as soon as possible, as it will bring great benefits to both countries. The projects in construction and development in Saudi Arabia still require foreign support, including tourism management and demand for many workers. It is an opportunity for businesses, skilled and semi-skilled Thai workers to participate.
Mr. Suchart said that Saudi Arabia also assigned the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development to recruit skilled workers to reach 8 million people, whereby Thailand can participate in the program. Saudi Arabia wants to push for labour cooperation as soon as possible, especially workers in the service sector, hotels, health, and construction industries for large construction projects. As for the measures to maintain the quality of life and welfare of foreign workers in Saudi Arabia, there will be the E-Contract Program, an electronic contract. It will focus on protecting the rights of employees and reducing conflicts between employees and employers, including the Labor Mobility Initiative, allowing workers to move freely, increase flexibility, create efficiency, and the ability to be active in the labour market.
“I am very pleased to have visited Saudi Arabia this time and would like to thank Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Human Resources and Social Development for giving Thai people the opportunity to return to work in Saudi Arabia again. Thailand has skilled workers in line with the needs of Saudi Arabia. The Ministry of Labour also has a Department of Skill Development that can provide skills and experience to match Saudi Arabia’s needs. It also has reliable recruiting companies registered and under the supervision of the Ministry of Labour,” concluded Mr. Suchart.
At present, 1,345 Thai workers are working in Saudi Arabia (as of December 2021). Most Thai workers who traveled to work were self-reported had arrangements by employers and re-entries. The jobs that Thai workers traveled to work in included welders, technicians, mechanics, factory workers, machine operators, workers producing general products, machine control workers, assistant cooks, and maids. Mr. Suchart also assigned the Labour Office in Saudi Arabia (Riyadh) as the primary coordinator with the Saudi Arabia side to carry out the intention above to send Thai workers to work following the needs of Saudi Arabia.
Division of Public Relations
26 January 2022