Dhaka, Bangladesh
Exploring new manpower market I

Comments & Analyses-II

Exploring new manpower market I

Every-year some 20 lakh youth are entering the labour market in Bangladesh. Jobless growth is a new phenomenon in Bangladesh economy, writes Saleh Abdullah

The present government has a major challenge to explore new labour market abroad against the backdrop of slowing manpower export to overseas countries. Every-year some 20 lakh youth are entering the labour market in Bangladesh. Jobless growth is a new phenomenon in Bangladesh economy. Though Bangladesh is growing at over seven per cent, economists and businesses have cautioned that country’s high growth rate is linked to jobless growth. Entrepreneurs are using high–technologies to remain competitive in the market reducing workers and employees. The manpower export dropped against the backdrop of political tension in the middle-east countries, budget cut in mega projects, economic slowdown and policy of recruiting local manpower in the oil-producing countries, sources in the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA) and the Bureau of Manpower and Employment and Training (BMET). The government should start negotiation with governments of Malaysia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Japan and Italy to recruit Bangladeshi workers in large number, according to BAIRA leaders. The manpower export during the January–March period of 2019 dropped 19 per cent compared to the manpower export of the January–March period of 2018. The manpower export during the January–March period of 2019 recorded at 204,201 compared to the manpower export during the January–March period of 2018 was 163,699. Bangladesh only exported a total of 906 workers to the UAE and only 55 workers to Malaysia during the first quarter of the current calendar year. Recently, the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (Baira) demanded lowering the fare of all Middle East-bound flights. “The fare has almost doubled and the medical fees have also been raised. This may increase the migration cost,” Baira President Benazir Ahmed told a press briefing at its Eskaton office in Dhaka. Other operators raised fare after Etihad, Fly Dubai, Air Arabia and Jet Airways stopped flying on Dhaka-Middle East routes. In a written statement, Benazir said passengers have to pay Tk 47,000-50,000 from the existing Tk 28,000 on the Dhaka-Jeddah route. Besides, they have to pay Tk 8,500 from the existing Tk 5,800 as medical fees. As a result the migration cost has increased, he said. Baira suggested introducing ‘Open Sky Policy’ for preventing airfare hike. Meanwhile, expatriate Bangladeshis sent nearly US $12 billion remittance in the first nine months of the current fiscal 2018-19, which is the highest in the last three years. During the July-March period in the fiscal 2018-19, expatriate Bangladeshis sent $11.87 billion which is 10.30 per cent higher than the amount received in the corresponding period of the preceding fiscal. According to Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country received $10.76 billion remittance during July-March period of 2017-18 financial year while $9.19 billion in the corresponding periods in fiscal 2016-17, $11.06 billion in the fiscal 2015-16 and $11.26 billion in the fiscal 2014-15. “The inflow of remittances shows upward trend in the current fiscal 2018-19 as the BB has taken measures to streamline the legal channels for encouraging Non Resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) to send money to the country,” said BB Chief Spokesperson M Serajul Islam. He said the recent flow of remittance indicates that it is gradually increasing and this trend is likely to continue in the upcoming months. According to the BB data, the country received $1.46 billion in March, $1.32 billion in February, $1.60 billion in January, $1.21 billion in December, $1.18 billion in November, $1.24 billion in October, $1.14 billion in September, $1.41 billion in August and $1.32 billion in July of the fiscal 2018-19. The number of the household expatriate drivers dropped by about 7.00 per cent from 1.4 million to 1.3 million by the end of last year compared to the previous year, the business daily Al-Eqtisadiah reported on Monday quoting statistics released by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, according Saudi Gazette. A ministry report said about 65 percent of the expatriate family drivers were from Asian countries. It said about 181 foreign women drivers arrived in the Kingdom recently. The ministry attributed the decrease in the number of the expatriate drivers to the royal decision on June 24, 2018, which lifted the ban on women driving in the country. According to foreign reports, about 6 million Saudi women, representing 65 percent, may apply for driving licenses in the near future. The reports said the number of Saudi women behind the wheel might reach about 3 million by the end of 2020. Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Traffic is currently considering offers from a number of foreign companies to establish schools in various areas to teach women driving according to international standards. Meanwhile, the manpower export during previous calendar year dropped by 27 per cent, sources in the Bureau of Manpower and Employment and Training (BMET) and Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA) said. The government will leave no stone unturned in exploring new labour market abroad this year, said a high official of the Bureau of Manpower and Employment and Training (BMET). Bangladesh exported a total of 734,181 workers abroad as against 1008,525 workers exported in previous 2017. As the labour market is squeezing in the middle-east countries, the government should explore new markets in other countries, said a Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (Baira) official. Expatriate Bangladeshis sent US$ 7491.29 million remittances during the first six months of the current fiscal 2018-19, which is apparent 8.06 per cent higher than the same period of the preceding year, a Bangladesh Bank (BB) data said Thursday. Bangladesh exported 734,181 workers to various counties during the January-December period in 2018 with KSA holding top destination for manpower export with 257,317 workers, followed by Malaysia with 175,927 workers, Qatar with 76,560 workers and Oman with 72,504 workers, according to Bureau of Manpower and Employment and Training (BMET). In 2017, Bangladesh sent 1008,525 workers as against 555,881 workers sent in 2016. However, expatriate Bangladeshis sent US$ 14,294.81 million home during the January-November period, and the total remittance flow during current calendar year may reach US$ 15,500 million. The global lender predicted that an overall energy price recovery from 2015-2016 lows would spur the economies of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council to grow by 2.4 percent in 2018 and 3.0 percent in 2019, after a contraction of 0.4 percent last year. (To be continued)

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