ISLAMABAD: Pakistan sent 457,000 workers to different countries in 2011 alone to mitigate unemployment and earn precious foreign exchange.
This was stated by Minister for Human Resource Development Chaudhry Wajahat Hussain here on Tuesday.
Speaking at a ceremony organised for signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the ministry of employment and labour, Republic of Korea, about export of Pakistani workforce, the minister said the country had been striving to enhance its share in the international labour market.
He said that the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Korea and Malaysia were the main countries where employment opportunities for Pakistani workers had been explored.
He appreciated the efforts of the ministry about manpower export and stressed its scope should be further widened.
“Pakistan is passing through some very critical problems like unemployment, poverty and price hike as a result of which many other socio-economic issues have been cropping up,” the minister said.
He said that if the issue of unemployment was controlled it would go a long way in resolving the other problems as well.
He said that exploring possibilities of job opportunities abroad was the best way to reduce unemployment.
The minister said that this would also help in earning foreign exchange and strengthening of friendly relations with other countries.
“We are endeavouring to discover new avenues to promote employment opportunities for all. For this purpose, the ministry is struggling to eliminate the balloting system. But we are facing problems because the system is still functional in the Republic of Korea. Therefore, we are coordinating with the Korean government to reach some mutual understanding on this issue,” the minister said.
He said that it was anticipated that a sizeable number of Pakistani workforce seeking foreign employment would be dispatched to Korea in the foreseeable future.
Overseas Employment Corporation Managing Director Saeed Ahmed Sheikh said the MoU for export of Pakistani manpower had been in place between two countries since 2007 and the OEC had so far sent over 2,800 unskilled workers to Korea.
They are earning an average monthly salary of $1,200–1,500 each.
The minister and director human resource development service of Korea representing Minister Lim Worl Jae signed the MoU.