Reforming the Manpower Export Sector is Necessary to Retain Expatriate Remittance Inflow

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Overcoming a bunch of obstacles, the dreamy journeyof migrant workers starts from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka. The economy of Bangladesh and prosperity of Bangladesh are connected with the dream. Experts say that because of the reason reform in manpower export sector is necessary to make this dream journey irresistible.

Manpower export in several countries including UAE has stopped. Diplomatic analysts say that there is no alternative to diplomatic efforts to open the manpower export in those countries. Former ambassador Munshi Faiz Ahmed said, ‘Manpower export in UAE has been stopped for 10 years which is the biggest labour market for Bangladeshi workers. To end this labour market crisis forceful diplomatic efforts are necessary. Besides, we will have to look for new potential labour market.’

He added that Bangladesh is investing in those countries where new industries including garments industry are emerging and Bangladeshi workers are going there too. There are procedural chances. If we can solve the problems in other countries, manpower export will increase. 

Former ambassador Raziul Hasan said, ‘Because of religious factor Middle East countries are favourable labour market for Bangladeshi workers. But recently several obstacles have been created.’

He also said, ‘we often find in the newspapers that Saudi Arabia will send back our workers. That will create a negative impact for our country. However, we will hope and pray that will not happen.’ 

Experts say that the Government will have to take a few effective steps to boost the manpower export sector. Such as: Increasing training facility of the workers to make them professional and skilled, creating new labour market, increasing surveillance to prevent corruption, stopping harassment of workers in other areas including at the airport, arrangement to bring remittance legally in the country, strengthening Wage Earners Welfare Program for the welfare of the workers and ensuring the safety and respect for the families of migrant workers in the country.  

C A Abrar, Professor of International Relations Department of Dhaka University, said about these steps, ‘If we cannot ensure these we will not be able to move forward. In our country there is a huge lack of employment. So if anyone wants to go abroad in search of work, it becomes the Government’s duty to ensure their safe migration of the workers.’

The Government says that it has taken some steps and initiative to resolve the current crisis in the manpower export sector. Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Nurul Islam BSC said, ‘Allthe popular labor markets of the world have become very competitive. Workers from several countries are trying to go to work in the labour market. As a result we have to bring changes in the labour dispatch strategy.’

He also said, ‘By conducting study, we are trying to know which types of workers are in demand in those countries. We are opening those sectors here. We are trying to know in which sector there is a lack of workers in those countries and what their demands are. Then we are training workers to fulfill the shortage in those countries.’ 

Only planning is not enough rather proper implementation of the plans will make the country’s manpower export sector dynamic. Concerned experts have been saying this repeatedly. The demand is same from the migrant workers and workers willing to go abroad. The recruiting agencies remind that development in this sector will not boost up without effective steps and initiatives by the Government.

Golam Mourtoza (pen name G M Mourtoza) is a Bangladeshi media activist based in Rajshahi where he has worked for several print, electronic and online media outlet. Email him at [email protected]

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