South Korea Denies Report of Plan to Import 100,000 Malawi Workers0 Comments

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Posted on 01 Jun 2013 at 12:57pm

South Korea’s government denied a media report that it agreed with the Malawian government to receive as many as 100,000 people from the southern African country to work in the Asian nation’s factories and farms.

“Our government has not received any official request from Malawi that they want to send their workers to our country,” Moon Sung Hwan, director at the Africa Division of South Korea’s foreign affairs ministry, said by phone in Seoul today.

North Koreans work at a garlic processing factory owned by a South Korean company inside Kaesong, North Korea. Credit: REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

North Koreans work at a garlic processing factory owned by a South Korean company inside Kaesong, North Korea. Credit: REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won

Malawian officials went to South Korea to discuss labor issues and contracts for those who will be sent to the Asian nation, Malawian President Joyce Banda’s spokesman Steven Nhlane said in response to e-mailed questions, saying that a plan to send workers there is still going ahead. He didn’t specify the number of people.

The British Broadcasting Corp. yesterday reported that Malawi will send as many as 100,000 people aged 18-25 to South Korea to help alleviate unemployment in the African nation. The agreement was reached during Banda’s visit to South Korea in February, according to the BBC report, which cited Malawi Labor Minister Eunice Makangala.

South Korea has one of the world’s fastest-aging populations and has increased the number of visas it gives to immigrants by sevenfold since 2000. Still, South Korea has no plans now to add Malawi to the list of 15 countries from which it imports labor, according to Jang Hyun Suk, senior deputy director at the Foreign Workforce Division of South Korea’s Ministry of Employment and Labor.

To contact the reporters on this story: Eunkyung Seo in Seoul at eseo3@bloomberg.net; Frank Jomo in Blantyre at fjomo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stuart Biggs at sbiggs3@bloomberg.net

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