2015 年 60 巻 2 号 p. 69-90
This paper discusses Vietnam’s out-migration policy and the current situations of its overseas workers, and the impact of out-migration on the regional development of the regions where the migrants come from. The paper also discusses the prospects for sending nurses and caregivers to Japan from Vietnam, which is about to start at the time of writing this paper.
Vietnam dispatched workers mainly to East European countries before 1991 through official channels, based on intergovernmental contracts with these countries. Since 1991, out-migration of workers from Vietnam has been based on contracts between private companies. Out-migration has contributed to the Vietnamese economy and to regional development. In 2013 alone, Vietnam sent about 90,000 workers to Taiwan, Malaysia and Korea. The Vietnamese government has been encouraging out-migration, because it will contribute to reducing poverty, developing regional economies, and fostering international cooperation.
Although the total number of overseas Vietnamese workers is far less than those of Filipinos and Indonesians, the number of Vietnamese workers sometimes exceeds those of Filipinos and Indonesians in Taiwan, Korea and Japan. The most important destination in 2013 was Taiwan, which absorbed 40,000 Vietnamese workers, or 45% of all workers that left the country in that year. On the other hand, Korea, which had also been an important destination for overseas Vietnamese workers, stopped the acceptance of the Vietnamese.
The incidence of out-migration is high in some particular districts. Nghe An province, which is one of such districts, received US$ 85 million in 2009 as remittances from the 45,000 workers who went abroad from this province. The amount of remittance was equivalent to 50% of the provincial government’s total revenue. The most important destinations for overseas workers from Nghe An province are Taiwan and Malaysia, accounting for 30~40% of all overseas workers from Nghe An. Work experiences in foreign countries, however, did not contribute so much to transferring modern industrial techniques to the workers’ origins, because almost all of the returnees engage in farming after returning home.
Based on the economic partnership agreement (EPA) between Japan and Vietnam, the first batch of the candidates for nurses and caregivers from Vietnam will come to Japan in June 2014. These nurses and caregivers come from the same regions where other types of overseas workers come from. Considering the insufficiency of medical staff, especially highly educated nurses, in Vietnam, the out-migration of nurses may have a detrimental impact on the domestic supply of medical services. Besides this, the candidates from Vietnam may not be able to pass the examination necessary to work as qualified nurses in Japan, considering the low rate for Filipino and Indonesian candidates—who came to Japan earlier—to pass the examination.
Even with these problems, we can still conclude that out-migration has positive impacts on Vietnamese regional development. The knowledge and experiences acquired by the candidates for nurses and caregivers who are about to start their training in Japan will contribute to the development of medical services in Vietnam.