2023 marks 40th anniversary of Pakistan-ROK bilateral relations


Pakistani workers’ number entering Korea during 2022 exceeds 1,600

Zubair Qureshi

The year 2023 is set to mark the 40th anniversary of Korea-Pak Diplomatic relations and various events in the field of public diplomacy are being envisioned by the Korean Embassy in Pakistan to celebrate the anniversary in a befitting manner. This was said by Ambassador of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Suh Sangpyo at a reception he hosted for the senior media persons at a local restaurant.

The End of the Year reception turned out to be lively interaction and the ambassador spoke on a wide range of subjects ranging from the Korean-Pakistan trade relations to the contributions of the Pakistani workers abd diaspora in Korea.

While commending the potential of the Pakistani skilled workers, Ambassador Suh Sangpayo said the number of the Pakistani workers who entered Korea through the Employment Permit System in 2022 has exceeded 1,600 as of the end of November.

However, he said the number of people entering the country this year far exceeds the number of people entering in the previous years.

Ambassador of the Republic of Korea Suh Sangpyo has proposed to his government to additionally incorporate the construction sector as a viable occupation alongside the existing manufacturing sector within the Employment Permit System in order to employ more Pakistani workers and to give them enhanced opportunities to find employment in Korea.

As a result of the continuous efforts of the Embassy and the EPS Center, the quota for Pakistan has been significantly increased this year, and the number of applicants for the EPS-Topik is also expected to foresee a significant increase of up to 1,600 people.

Within the Employment Permit System (E9), 16 nationalities are employed in Korea, and over the past 18 years, foreign workers have played a strong role in alleviating the labor shortage of Korean SMEs and towards contributing to the balanced development of the Korean economy. They include Pakistan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, China, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan, East Timor.

In particular, Pakistani workers have given a good impression to Korean business owners, with their due diligence and sincerity to their work and employers. It is expected that more people from Pakistan will be employed in Korea in the coming years.

Employment Permit System (E9) is a system that allows small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Korea that are unable to find local workforce and allows them to legally employ non-professional/semi-skilled workers from abroad by obtaining an Employment Permit from the Government of Korea.○

According to the embassy of South Korea, the Pakistan EPS Center is cooperating closely with the Overseas Employment Corporation of Pakistan (OEC) for the prompt entry of Pakistani workers who have been unable to enter Korea for the past two years due to the impact and restrictions brought on by COVID-19. The center currently aims to achieve its target of 2,000 Pakistani workers to enter Korea this year, said the Korean embassy in a press handout adding, in total, approximately 13,000 people have entered Korea from Pakistan in the past 15 years since the establishment of the Pakistan EPS Center through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed in 2006.