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8.32 lakh people sent abroad in 2007 : Ministry PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 03 March 2008

UNB, Dhaka

The country saw a phenomenal increase in overseas employment during the last year, as some 8.32 lakh workers were sent abroad in 2007 against 3.81 lakh of the previous year.

A spokesman of the ministry of expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment came up with the statistics in a release Saturday following media reports that Bangladeshi manpower market abroad is shrinking.

A total of 1,59,000 people went abroad in the first two months of the current year compared to 78,000 at the same time in 2007.

‘Obviously, these are record numbers,’ he said adding that workers have continued to be employed in Saudi Arabia and Malaysia. Some 20,200 workers already went to Saudi Arabia in February alone and the flow continues. ‘And the figure to Malaysia in February was 10,9,56 and the flow is also continuing,’ the release said.

About the reports on the problems facing by Bangladeshis in Saudi Arabia, the spokesman said Saudi authorities have denied that any particular community has been targeted for legal action, or alleged harassment.

‘The Saudis have categorically stated that Saudi authorities have not been influenced by propaganda by any community against another,’ the release added.

It said the ministry in Dhaka has been making appeals to all members of the Bangladeshi community in Saudi Arabia to continue to abide by Saudi laws so that the majority do not suffer for the mistakes of a few. The ambassador in Riyadh has been making contacts with the Saudi government and high-level visits to that country and discussions with their authorities are being planned.

‘We must work together in a way that the host government is not unduly embarrassed,’ the spokesman said. ‘In fact, at this very moment, a Saudi company from Dallah Group is recruiting a large number of technical and professional workers in Dhaka,’ he mentioned. As to Malaysia, the release added, several measures have already been taken to minimise difficulties facing by Bangladeshi workers.

These have been released to the media. Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, in charge of the ministry, during his recent brief visit to that country held discussions with senior Malaysian officials.

Immediate formal bilateral consultations are on the cards between Bangladesh and Malaysia. The ministry spokesman said new job markets in other countries, including in Europe, are being explored.

All Bangladeshi missions abroad have been instructed to attach the highest priority to the welfare of Bangladeshis. Efforts are also underway to improve the skills and quality of Bangladeshi manpower for better jobs.

A multi-pronged programme in this regard has been undertaken by the ministry and its agencies, he said. The government, he said, acknowledges the huge contribution of the expatriate community to the nation’s development, and will make every effort to advance the welfare of expatriate Bangladeshis.

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