Vietnam is the best place to go - for Korean jobs

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Vietnam is the best place to go - for Korean jobs

The Korean job market is apparently booming … in Vietnam.

While the Korean government and private sector are struggling to squeeze every possible job out of employers and train a rising number of job seekers, the situation is totally different in the Southeast Asian country.

Talent demand is soaring in Vietnam, as an increasing number of Korean companies join other global firms that are moving their production lines and related businesses in expectation of the Korea-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), both sealed this year.

To urge more local job seekers to take advantage of the plentiful job opportunities, the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (Kotra) is holding a job fair on Friday in downtown Ho Chi Minh, the country’s economic capital.

The agency has invited some 46 Korean companies from different sectors, ranging from software to traditional textile and electronics manufacturers. Nearly 950 local and Korean job seekers are expected to visit, Kotra said. The job fair involves one-on-one resume screening and job interviews.

“There are about 4,400 Korean companies operating here in Vietnam, and the number is expected to keep increasing to generate demand for Korean talent,” Park Sang-hyup, chief of the Kotra Ho Chi Minh branch, said.

For Korean manufacturers of various sizes, Vietnam is the most attractive destination, as they can produce parts and materials or assemble them at a cheaper cost, thanks to tariff reductions and shortened document processing advantages that they can get with the bilateral FTA, which was ratified this week.

If Korea joins the TPP in the coming years, Vietnam is expected to be at the center of the global value chain that allows cheap production and tariff elimination when exporting to the 12 member countries.

Korean conglomerates in business-to-consumer areas, like CJ Vietnam, Lotte Mart Vietnam and Lotte Cinema, are taking part in the job fair. The two conglomerates have recently taken aggressive steps to expand in the region.

The number of Korean companies opening corporate branches and factories in Vietnam is increasing every year, and the country is now one of the top three hottest destinations for financial companies in overseas expansion.

The Industrial Bank of Korea, Shinhan Bank and Busan Bank joined the fair in search of new bankers who can help with localization to get more Vietnamese to use their bank services.


BY KIM JI-YOON [kim.jiyoon@joongang.co.kr]

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