The doors of developed countries, including America, Russia, Japan, South Korea and Australia, and some European countries are still closed for the Bangladeshi workers
Rafiqul Akter: Manpower exports declined drastically in the recent months which may affect on country’s remittance earning, experts forecasted.
Actually, labour migration has become an important factor for Bangladesh in respect of employment generation, GDP growth, poverty reduction but in recent years the country is facing severe crisis for manpower export.
In June 2019 there were 45,200 persons who had gone abroad on employment. This number is lower than the number of persons who went abroad on employment in May’19 by 15,582 or 25.64 percent. During July 2018-June 2019 the manpower exports of the country decreased by 205,104 persons or 23.31 percent compared to that of the same period of last year, according to a central bank monthly journal.
On the other hand, worker’s inward remittances received from the Bangladeshi nationals working abroad decreased by US$ 379.96 million or 21.73 percent in June’19 from US$ 1748.16 million in May’19. Workers’ remittance in June ‘19 is recorded US$1368.2million. During July ‘18-June ‘19 workers’ remittances increased by US$1437.94 million or 9.60 percent compared to that of the same period of the last year, according to Bangladesh Bank data.
Industry insiders said, most manpower-importing countries are interested more in employing skilled workers. Considering this, the authorities should take pragmatic steps to create a sizeable manpower, properly trained in trades that are in high demand in those countries. Most of the Bangladeshis on jobs abroad are poor and uneducated. There are heavily underpaid and face deprivation by overseas employers very often.
In order to stop the falling trend of manpower export, it is necessary to launch vigorous diplomatic drive to persuade the traditional manpower importing countries to open their doors for the Bangladeshi workers. The Bangladesh missions abroad need to be restructured with a view to effectively dealing with the emerging situation.
Although the matter of taking various initiatives was heard, new labour market is not really being opened to Bangladeshi workers.
But the Gulf nations, mainly Saudi Arabia, are not hiring workers from Bangladesh on a large scale, creating negative impact on overall overseas job scenario in the sector.
Slow development works and restrictions on certain jobs for foreign workers were the main causes behind major fall in manpower export to the Kingdom. Falling oil price, political uncertainty and slow development work are also making it difficult for foreign workers to get jobs.
On the other hand, Malaysia has also suspended manpower recruitment from Bangladesh through the existing system under ‘G2G Plus’ deal due to some alleged unethical practices of the recruiting agencies. The south-east Asian country is now working to launch a new system for hiring manpower. As such, until introduction of the process, labour migration to the country will remain held-up.
Experts said, Bangladesh should try to tap other markets like rich nations in Africa and other oil-enriched Gulf countries like Qatar, Kuwait and the UAE to narrow the gap. In the past, workers could manage to get jobs, but now-a-days, it is difficult due to economic slowdown in most of the Middle Eastern countries. Although the migration cost is still much higher in Bangladesh comparing to the competitors.
The doors of developed countries, including America, Russia, Japan, South Korea and Australia, and some European countries are still closed for the Bangladeshi workers.
In current month, the destination of 90 percent of 1.0 million workers went abroad was the old market like Middle East, Malaysia and Singapore. But the Middle East crisis has been prolonged due to new rules of Saudi Arabia, visa closure of the United Arab Emirates and instability of Libya.
It was learnt that Bangladesh’s biggest labour market in Saudi Arabia. One of the world’s richest and most oil-producing countries has approved a master plan named ‘Vision-2030’ in order to reduce its oil-dependency in economic matters and improving economy of the country.
However, only sending workers through the Malaysia’s government-to-government plus system has created hope. But introducing the new system of giving Immigration Clearing Certificate (ICC) by setting up an office in Dhaka for sending workers to Malaysia has created fresh complexity in sending Bangladeshi workers abroad.