Dhaka, Bangladesh
Revitalise manpower export sector

Editorial

Revitalise manpower export sector

The Malaysian government has assured Bangladesh of hiring Bangladeshi workers in Malaysian companies. According to a report published on Wednesday, the assurance came at a meeting between the Bangladesh's state minister for expatriates' welfare and overseas employment and the Malaysian home minister and human resources minister. The matter could be finalized at the bilateral working group meeting between the two sides on May 30 and 31. The Malaysian labour market remained closed for Bangladeshi workers for over eight months. As a result, at least one lakh Bangladeshi workers have been deprived of job opportunities in Malaysia. The labour force export to the big markets of the Middle East and Malaysia is virtually mothballed for long many days. Manpower export is one of the most vital sectors of our economy that fetches a hefty chunk of the foreign exchange our workers earn. But now the manpower export market is facing a meltdown and shrinking fast day by day. The ministry concerned previously said the potential for manpower export was beginning to look up in a number of countries. But it is far from reality. Several delegations visited different countries several times to open the closed markets, but to no avail. Representatives from abroad as well visited Bangladesh and expressed interest to recruit workers. But the mandarins concerned failed to get the desired result and ultimately the target has not been achieved, nor any new manpower market has been explored. Bangladesh has been exporting manpower for over four decades. But such a crisis has never been experienced. Bangladesh is the fifth largest country in respect of the manpower export. In 2001 about 71 per cent of the total manpower exported went to Saudi Arabia. In 2010 surprisingly it began to decline. Since then the Middle East manpower market has been shrinking for Bangladeshi workers and it has not shown any robust form. The mission to explore new labour market in Africa, East Asia and Europe was a futile one. Efforts even at the highest level to open the closed market in some countries have gone in vain. As a result, a negative impact was created on the manpower export sector of our country. Nothing but words of assurance has been received from the manpower recruiting countries. Erroneous policy, slapdash efforts, lack of skill and foresight on the part of authorities concerned are the main bugbear of our manpower export sector. The growth of remittance is also not satisfactory with the decline in manpower export. The negative impact on the overseas employment is likely to add to the growth of unemployment pushing the economy right in the soup. Efforts, therefore, should be redoubled to invigorate the manpower export sector.

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