Thailand needs 500,000 more migrant workers to recover – Chamber of Commerce


BANGKOK, July 12 (Reuters) – Thailand is short more than half a million migrant workers, the country’s Chamber of Commerce said on Tuesday, as Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy struggles with a slow post-pandemic recovery.

Demand for workers is high in labor-intensive sectors, including agricultural products and food processing for exports, construction, tourism and services, said Poj Aramwattananont, vice president of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, during a press conference.

“Workers today are a big problem to keep the economy going,” he said, adding that the country would need a total of at least 3-4 million migrant workers to move forward. the economy.

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Barriers to recruiting migrant workers include issues in their home countries such as civil unrest in Myanmar and competition for workers from other countries like Japan and China, Poj said.

At present, there are about 2.5 million documented migrant workers from Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar, Pairoj Chotikasathien, head of the labor ministry’s employment department, told the conference.

In a bid to ease the shortage, the cabinet last week approved labor management plans, including allowing documented workers to stay until February 2025, he said.

Thailand will also allow illegal workers, this time including those from Vietnam, to be registered and work until February 2025, Pairoj said.

With improved labor plans and more workers arriving, Thailand could see nearly 3 million migrant workers by the end of the year, he said.

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Reporting by Orathai Sriring and Satawasin Staporncharnchai Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor

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