Sri Lanka seeks diversified Korean jobs | Daily News

Sri Lanka seeks diversified Korean jobs


 Discussions are ongoing between Korean and Sri Lankan governments to diversify employment opportunities for Sri Lankans. The Sri Lankan government has requested the Korean government for the opportunity to send workers into visa categories other than under the Employment Permit System (EPS), said Sri Lankan Ambassador to Korea Manisha Gunasekera.

Speaking to the Daily News, she added that at present, Sri Lankans are employed under the E 9 visa category which is the EPS. This is essentially for unskilled workers.

“We want Sri Lankan workers to also come under the E 7 visa category for semi-skilled workers for specific skills such as chefs, beauticians etc.

Discussions in this regard with Korean parties are ongoing,” Ambassador Gunasekera said.

“In general, the engagement we have with Korean officials is very positive,” she added.

The ambassador pointed out that Sri Lanka has also requested to enhance the quota under the EPS for Sri Lanka. That is a continuous effort of the Sri Lankan government.

She added that the contribution by Sri Lankans - mainly employed in the SMEs - to the Korean economy is very significant.

“The Korean economy’s backbone is considered the SMEs. The contribution of the Korean ‘Chaebols’ or big companies is very significant. But the SMEs have a special status. SMEs are part of a massive value chain feeding Hyundai heavy industries, Hyundai shipping etc and especially the manufacturing sector. Korea is very much driven by industries and hence, the demand for foreign workers. Sri Lankans are performing well in the manufacturing sector,” the ambassador said.

In Jeju - the island south of Korea that depends on tourism, fisheries and farms, Sri Lankans working in these sectors are contributing significantly to the economy, Ambassador Gunasekera added. 

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