Tuesday, August 30, 2011

You basically cannot hire foreigners anymore

So the Vietnamese government issued a degree that makes it basically impossible to hire foreigners anymore.

It is already quite difficult for foreigners to get a work permit there, but now the government makes it even worst.

The decree stipulates that 30 days before recruiting foreign workers for some posts, employers must notify the needs of recruiting Vietnamese workers for the same posts on local and central newspapers. When applying for granting work permits to foreigners, enterprises have to present the documents to prove the job information publishing.

The problem is that degrees like that are actually targeted on the illegal chinese workers in construction and mining. But of course you cannot make a law just for Chinese workers. So the law covers all foreigners. and here starts the problem.

First of all, the reason why you hire a foreigner, who is more expensive than local staff, is because you cannot find a local who can do the job. So you already DID the homework searching desperately for skilled people. There are just not enough of them.

That leads to the VN education system. People with a certificate, diploma or whatever think they are skilled, but usually they are not. It is in many times not worth the paper it is printed on. You have to train people all the time in your company, and often enough once the received proper training, they quit and start their own business, becoming a competitor (not much successful usually, but that is a different story).

While the gov takes no real efforts in lifting the standards of education significantly (for example by reducing the hours teaching socialism and Uncle Ho's history), they now leave it to the private sector to solve the problem.

Meanwhile, the Article No 132 of the Labor Code stipulates that FIEs in Vietnam can recruit foreign workers for the posts that require high qualifications for certain periods, provided that the enterprises have plans on training Vietnamese workers who can replace the foreign workers.

So even if you finally hired a foreigner, you have to train local staff to get this persons knowledge. Do they really believe this works?

It seems that Vietnam do not want openly offend their brothers in Bejing, so they rather offend western companies. They may have forgotten where the money came for the boom. And that this western companies already start to pull the money out since it is becoming more risky and dangerous. State owned companies are either bankrupt already or close to. So what's left then are some Russian and Chinese (also Japanese and Korean) companies. But they will have the same foreigner problem. If they pull out as well, it will be a major bump for the VN economy. There is already not much innovation and market developing going on my local businesses, and VN - as World bank reports and others mentioned many time - will rely on foreign support for more years. They put this on risk now.