19 days ago

Rising manpower export

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Amid the pervasively depressing news in the post-corona period in almost all sectors, the manpower export sector emerges with a silver lining. It's because after a two-year export hiatus following the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020, the outflow of job-seeking workers has lately marked a buoyant growth. Indeed, manpower export from the country has been on an upswing over the past two consecutive months, show the data released by the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET). The country reportedly sent 213,572 workers to different countries during January-February period - of whom 104,513 in January and 109,059 in February. Following the deadlock in the country's manpower export during the corona scourge, the data have emerged as propitious news for the country's economy. The economy was badly hit by the domino effect of the 2-year pandemic in 2020-21.

As reported by BMET, most of the workers went to the Middle East countries. They included Saudi Arabia, with the highest number of expatriate workers at 85,319. In the tally of job destinations for Bangladeshi manpower, the Southeast Asian nation of Malaysia appears to have entered the scene once again. In January and February last, 54,314 workers have landed jobs in Malaysia. Against the backdrop of unwarranted developments in sending manpower to that country --- misunderstandings, mushrooming of phony recruiting agencies in both the countries etc lately, the rise in jobs for the Bangladeshis in Malaysia is worth noting.

The BMET expects the overseas employment for the Bangladeshis to grow steadily in the months ahead and see more employment than in the previous year. It has been learnt that Bangladesh sent more than 1.1 million workers abroad in 2022. All this is good news for the country, as it translates into hefty remittances for the country. Surprisingly, a clear picture has yet to come out on the amount of the remittances being sent to Bangladesh. Many point the finger at the 'hundi' process of sending money from abroad. Expatriates prefer to transfer money through 'hundi' rather than legal channels to get more money. Although they know that it is illegal, they continue to use this informal transfer of money as there is no proof of transaction. This widely practised method has become synonymous with remittance transfer.

Women comprise a significant part of the total number of manpower exports. In spite of the incidents of alleged overwork, harassments and humiliations female workers from Bangladesh continue to undertake overseas journeys to engage in jobs in the Gulf countries. A total of 15,771women have entered jobs abroad in January-February this year. Most of them have been hired by the Middle East countries. Bangladesh sent more than 0.1 million female workers to different job destinations in 2022. However, Bangladesh female workers abroad have for some time been a delicate issue. It emanates from the perceived lack of a work-friendly and secure atmosphere. Rights activists take up the issue, saying females are still deprived of an environment conducive to work. Complaints are rife. But mere complaints and surviving with bruised selves will not get the female expatriate workers anywhere. Ensuring the right kind of jobs and a working atmosphere should be considered two imperatives. The present manpower export market has turned too old, and conventional. The nation ought to explore some fresh destinations. It can start with workers chosen for rich Far East and Southeast Asian countries.

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