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We must send more skilled workers abroad to give a boost to remittance earnings

03 October 2022

The number of Bangladeshi workers who headed to the Middle East countries in search of jobs surged 177 per cent year-on-year in the first eight months of this year. The opening of the doors following the recovery of the oil-rich nations from the Covid-19 pandemic and a higher income thanks to a spike in energy prices owing to the Russia-Ukraine war have boosted the economic activities in the region and lifted the demand for foreign workers.
The energy price hike, which saw the oil price rocket to an eight-year high, has been credited to have pulled the Gulf countries out of a decade-long economic slump. Crude oil prices plummeted to as low as $20 a barrel at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, but it climbed above $100 after Russia invaded Ukraine in February this year. As a result, energy exporting nations are expected to earn $1.3 trillion in revenues over a four-year period thanks to the current boom, said the International Monetary Fund recently.
Since demand has recovered, Bangladesh sent around 7 lakh workers, or 90 per cent of the total, to the Middle East between January and August, up from 2.53 lakh during the same period last year. The major destinations were Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait, and Lebanon. Of them, Saudi Arabia, which always sits at the top when it comes to hiring workers from Bangladesh, took in 4.72 lakh workers during the period, which was 60 per cent of the total manpower exported.
Bangladesh's overall export of manpower rose 191 per cent year-on-year in August. Currently, one crore Bangladeshi migrants are working in the world while 75 lakh workers are employed in the Middle-Eastern countries. Although the manpower export from Bangladesh has increased over the years, the remittance flow has not gone up proportionately. Remittance receipts rose 12 per cent to $7.63 billion from January to August. It was $6.81 billion during the identical eight-month period last year. We must say the government should take initiative to send more skilled workers abroad to give a boost to remittance earnings.

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