S Korea to invite more workers: official
Friday, 23 October 2009

South Korea will recruit more Bangladeshi workers from next year as the country is recovering from the economic crisis, a government official has said.

Syed Nasir Ershad, first secretary to the Bangladesh Embassy in Seoul, said Thursday that frequent change in work places by some workers had tarnished the positive image of Bangladeshis "to some extent" in Korea.

"Korea was hard hit by the global economic downturn. Its annual demand for foreign workers has come down to around 17,000 from the previous 42,000.

"But the resilient people of that country are recovering fast from the economic crisis," Ershad told a special interactive session of labour attaches to Bangladesh missions abroad.

A total of 15 labour attaches attended the training session organised by International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

Foreign minister Dipu Moni addressed the concluding session at Hotel Westin.

He said Korea was recruiting lower number of foreign workers including Bangladeshis.

"As per my interactions with the officials, I can tell you that Korea will recruit more foreign workers from next year.

"The number of Bangladeshis will be much higher," said Ershad.

As per an agreement with Bangladesh government, signed in 2007, Soul is supposed to recruit 5,000 Bangladeshis every year starting in June 2008.

According to the figures of Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training, Korea recruited 1,521 Bangladeshis in 2008.

The bureau says there are about 20,000 Bangladeshi workers in South Korea.

In her address as the chief guest, Dipu Moni suggested embassy officials to listen to the problems of the expatriate workers and take remedial measures.

She said the officials of all Bangladesh missions must work under the overall guidance of the ambassadors.

"Many of the recent incidents that jeopardised our national interest in terms of market prospect for our expatriate workers were the results of lack of coordination among different wings of the mission and the tendency of some to work independent of the head of the mission.

"Our government will not tolerate such attitude anymore," said Dipu Moni.

"Stern actions will be taken against those officers found responsible for such behaviors irrespective of their administrative affiliation".

IOM's Regional Representative Rabab Fatima also addressed the concluding session.


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