Dhaka, Bangladesh
'BD should eye new labour markets abroad'

'BD should eye new labour markets abroad'

News Report Bangladesh should look at exploring new labour markets and re-exploring manpower markets of Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) against the backdrop of slow growth in manpower export, said sources in the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) and the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA). Bangladesh exported a total of 470,265 workers during the January -September period of the current calendar year. Bangladesh exported a total of 734,181 workers during January-December period of the last calendar year. Manpower export to Malaysia plummeted during the first nine months as Bangladesh exported only 360 workers to the Southeast Asian country. The total manpower export to UAE was during the January-August period was only 2403. Bangladesh exported a total of 175,927 workers to Malaysia in 2018, 99,787 workers in 2017, 40,126 workers in 2016 and 30,383 workers in 2015, 54,750 workers in 2014 and 60,057 workers in 2013. Bangladesh exported a total of 273,201 workers in 2007, the highest number of manpower export in one calendar year to Malaysia. Bangladesh also exported a total of 131,762 workers in 2007. Since then, the manpower export to the Southeast country suffered during 2009-2014 period. Against the backdrop of sharp drop in manpower export to Malaysia since December, 2018, Bangladesh should closely work with the Southeast Asian country in recruitment of its workers. Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Malaysia are three important manpower recruiting countries. Bangladesh exported a total of 1996 workers to UAE and a total of 6821 workers in Kuwait during the same period. A leader of the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA) said that Bangladesh should have short- mid and -long--term strategy to tap manpower market in Japan as the G-7 country is going through shortage of skilled manpower and ageing society. The government of Bangladesh should request Japan to set up a high-end training centre to groom necessary manpower required in the industrialised country, he said. Bangladesh exported a total of 155 skilled workers to Japan during January -September period of the current calendar year. Japan expects to accept up to 345,150 foreign workers in five years under the new visa statuses. They will include 60,000 people to work in the care-giving business, 53,000 in food service, 40,000 in the construction industry, 37,000 in building cleaning, 36,500 in farming, 34,000 in food and beverage manufacturing, and 22,000 in the lodging industry. Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training officials told New Today that Bangladesh expects to send skilled workers and technical interns to Japan. They said that Japan could be a new destination for 'our workers'. Instead of sending unskilled labourers, Bangladesh should mull over exporting skilled workers like electricians, carpenters, masons, plumbers, drivers, barbers, painters, health technologists, nurses, doctors, engineers, IT specialists, language specialists to the Southeast Asian country. Bangladesh is looking for new labour markets abroad along with the existing ones aiming to boost the exports of manpower globally. A BAIRA official said that 'The government has taken up various initiatives to explore new labour markets besides the traditional market, said high officials of the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET). The government has directed foreign missions abroad to explore new labour markets in development countries besides the traditional markets in the middle-east countries, sources said Bangladesh has already opened missions in some countries of South America, Africa and Europe, and a process is underway to open missions in some other countries aiming to expand trade and business. As per the directives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, a new division named 'International Trade, Investment and Technology' was opened in the Foreign Ministry to bring pace in economic diplomacy to expand trade and investment aiming to increase the country's GDP growth to 10 percent by 2023, he said. Meanwhile, Croatia last month expressed its interest in recruiting quality human resources from Bangladesh in the near future. Croatia's Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Labour and Pension System Drazen Opalic said that his country will soon forward a draft MoU to Bangladesh for this purpose. Once the MoU is signed, necessary preparations will be put in place for recruiting human resources from Bangladesh. Opalic said that this time they want to hire doctors, nurses, ICT experts, tourism workers, construction workers, among others, from Bangladesh. This interest was conveyed to Bangladesh Ambassador Sheikh Mohammed Belal recently when he met Opalic. Opalic told Belal that this year they are willing to issue licenses for 51,000 manpower, mostly from within Europe and a smaller number from outside Europe, said the Bangladesh Embassy in The Hague last month. Ambassador Belal apprised the Croatian Minister about Bangladesh's capacity to provide both skilled and un-skilled manpower in all possible sectors that they may need. He also requested Opalic to visit Bangladesh to see for themselves the arrangements that the government had put in place for orderly process of migration with necessary skill. This government to government initiative will be developed in consultation of both the countries and relevant agencies in a way so that the cost of migration and other preparation for imparting relevant skills will be duly worked out. The meeting was attended by representatives from Croatian Employment Agency, Ministry of Labour and Pension System and Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. Earlier, Ambassador Belal also had a meeting with Petar Uzorinac, acting Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Croatia in his office. Among other issues, the issue of recruitment of manpower from Bangladesh was also discussed. Bangladesh Embassy in the Netherlands is also concurrently accredited to Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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