Mr Suchat said the ministry aims to send 52,253 Thais to work in parts of Asia and the Middle East such as Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Israel.
Taiwan is expected to receive 20,120 Thai workers, the highest amount when compared to other countries. Some workers have already left Thailand to work overseas.
Mr Suchat said the ministry decided to send the workers overseas because Thailand has reported a decreasing rate of local COVID-19 infections, and the government is easing lockdown measures, preparing to reopen the kingdom.
The ministry found many Thai workers were ready to travel to work abroad, he said.
He said 121,922 Thai workers remained abroad amid the COVID-19 pandemic, citing data from the ministry’s Overseas Employment Administration Division.
A total of “91,541 have stayed in Asia and South Asia, 24,312 in Middle East, 5,720 in Europe and America and 349 in Africa,” Mr Suchat said.
He said demand from labourers to be employed abroad increased after the COVID-19 situation in the kingdom stabilised, adding the government has now allowed travel to some safe countries.
He cited data taken from Suvarnabhumi Airport last month showing 2,394 Thais travelled overseas, four times higher when compared to June when 585 labourers departed.
The minister said 243 workers departed the country for their jobs in May, while 557 left in March.
Mr Suchat said foreign countries need Thai workers because businesses need help to recover from COVID-19’s economic impact. Thai workers are recognised internationally for their discipline and skills, he said, adding Thailand is seen as a trusted source of workers, free of COVID-19.
Mr Suchat said international recognition of Thailand’s standard of health and sanitation will provide more opportunities for the kingdom and help generate income for citizens who are unemployed.
His goal is to bring income to the country and stimulate the domestic economy.
Before the Thai labourers are sent overseas, the government considers the safety of the workers by surveying infection prevention measures and employment protection policies destination countries have in place, he said.