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Concern as UAE 'halts' Bangladesh recruitment

Published Aug 27, 2012 09:34am


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Operators work at manufacturing plant in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. — Reuters Photo
Operators work at manufacturing plant in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. — Reuters Photo

DHAKA: The United Arab Emirates has stopped issuing visas to workers from Bangladesh, recruiting companies said Monday, in a move that threatens to strangle vital remittances for the impoverished South Asian country.

The UAE has emerged as the biggest recruiter of Bangladeshi labourers in recent years, accounting for about 50 per cent of all overseas employment opportunities after jobs dwindled in Saudi Arabia.

“Since last week we haven't had any working visas issued from the UAE,” said Shahjalal Majumdar, president of the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA).

There has been no official confirmation from the UAE, but Bangladesh's Overseas Employment Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain told reporters Sunday that the UAE government had “scaled down” manpower imports from several nations.

Money sent by Bangladesh's more than eight million migrants has been the key driver of its economy ever since the country started sending workers to oil-rich Middle Eastern nations in 1976.

Migrant workers sent home a record $12.85 billion in the fiscal year ended in June this year, accounting for 12 per cent of Bangladesh's gross domestic product, according to official figures.

“We warned the government that too much dependence on a single market could be a big source of vulnerability,” said Tasneem Siddiqui, who heads local think-tank the Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit.

“Now that they have stopped recruiting from us it would be disastrous for our economy unless we can find alternative markets as quickly as possible,” she told AFP.

The numbers of Bangladeshis heading to Saudi Arabia slowed sharply after 2009 when the kingdom hired only 14,666 Bangladeshis compared with 258,348 by the UAE, according to government figures.

Saudi officials never explained the reasons but local media alleged that growing replacement of migrant workers with Saudi citizens and souring diplomatic ties with the country's secular government played key roles.

Migration from Bangladesh fell sharply during the 2008-9 global economic downturn as jobs dried up in the Gulf nations and export-oriented Southeast Asia.


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Comments (22) Closed

kayamat Aug 27, 2012 12:13pm
May be people are jelous of the smart Pakistanis. So they say so many bad things.
Muslim Aug 27, 2012 10:01am
Welcome! very good move by the UAE, whatever be the reason. Muslim countries ko chahiye k Banglahdesh ki govt. ka boycott kare aur isko OIC se bhi kharij kar de because they are not granting asylum to Muslims of Myanmar.
m. saeed awan Aug 27, 2012 09:58am
That's probably good decision.
hari Aug 27, 2012 12:03pm
India is giving asylum to Rohinyas. so many people have come to India. proof that India is secular and treats all its citizens well with minor aberations.
Cyrus Howell Aug 27, 2012 12:03pm
Rao Aug 27, 2012 04:44pm
I am getting jealous of your smartness mr. kayamat :)
Muslim Aug 27, 2012 11:13am
I don't say that Banglahdesh must accept to all of the muslims of Mayanmar but they must help the muslims who reached them in a very miserable condition having death threats, their daughters and women were being raped and their peoples were being killed etc.etc. Is this the behavior of a muslim country who returned them back in such a manner instead of helping them. If they can't help a human being , a muslim, a bengali origin people then why muslims should try to help such a heartless govt.
nasr Aug 27, 2012 11:13am
It is unfortunate that the Bangladeshis have been singled out in UAE. From what I can see and have experienced, the blue collar workforce in the Mid East commonly do questionable things irrespective of their origin, race or religion. My dealing with the Bangladeshis in Mid East and in the West both as friends and neighbors have been nothing but positive. Looking at us, the Pakistani, we are next being in the list of being banned, as we are rapidly loosing the trust and the edge we enjoyed 20 years back with our neighboring countries. Our names routinely comes up in a news along the line of drug trafficking, soft crimes, and violence among within. My non Pakistani and Western friend are often dumbfounded on the way we run our country i.e. politics, sports, law and order situation and it abuse, minorities rights, low education rate, sectarian and communal killing, power outages, fund embezzlement. etc. Let us ponder on our own affairs before looking at others untimely misfortunes.
Cyrus Howell Aug 27, 2012 11:40am
They are good people. Smart too.
Kirmani Aug 27, 2012 11:43am
Pakistani visa's for kuwait are banned since last three years ... it wont be surprising if any other gcc country will do the same with pakistan ...
talogic Aug 27, 2012 10:49am
Firstly, in response to a comment above - Decision to grant assylum to Myanmar refugees is entirely on Bangladesh - if not giving assylum is the reason, then why don't the 'rich' Saudi's (sic!) air lift them to their own country. Secondly, it is a known fact that the gulf countries are oil economies, and therefore, far more susceptible to the economic depressions worldwide that largely determine the consumption of oil. Given the current economic situation, it is obvious that the slowdown will lead to lesser demand for real estate and oil - the primary drivers of mid-east economy, and consequently lesser need for labour force. What we really need to see is whether the decline in visa's being rolled out are limited to Bangladesh, or includes other countries as well.
Talha Aug 27, 2012 10:39am
Bangladesh is remitting large amount of money from UAE which is disasterous for small country like UAE. such decisions will reduce Capital outflow and bring economic stabilty. Bangladesh needs to reduce its poplulation substantially.
Cyrus Howell Aug 27, 2012 11:49am
To produce more jobs - favorable economic conditions and market factors are necessary. It is not a good time to take the chance on another country. One needs a legitimate job offer before hand. Prosperous countries do not need contract labor sitting around in the streets if they do not get paid. So they restrict imported labor only to professionals and domestic help. Unskilled labor is needed only in boom times.
mzeeshan00 Aug 27, 2012 09:24pm
I am born and brought up in dubai and I love UAE more than Pakistan. Although I am an expatriate here this country gave me all the amenities that even my children cannot think about getting in Pakistan when they grow up. UAE is a great nation. May Allah always keep UAE prosperous and green.
Ali Jones Aug 28, 2012 08:39am
what goes round comes round.... bangla was created through deception
dr vimal raina Aug 28, 2012 12:36pm
May Allah always keep UAE prosperous and green...for my kids to be raised well and their kids and their kids be always second or third class citizens. Fie on you my mother land....I owe you nothing.
afrozetalukder Sep 06, 2012 12:53pm
What is the real reason? May be the muslims have deviated from the path of being rightous? Allah La Wahbbu komul fasiqin! Surely He does not guide the unjust either! Most muslims of today are name sake only. Gone are the days when Muslims used to truly believe in Allah.
dr vimal raina Aug 28, 2012 12:40pm
The only reason is that Bangladeshis are being refused visas is that the Bangladeshi government has declared that the country is secular. The Wahabi money to the madrassas has been regulated. This is the revenge of the Wahabis...This is good for Bangladesh. It reminds me of a story by Premchand called 'Lauki ka Ped (tree)', where a stranger guest finds out that a family just depended on a 'lauki ka ped' for their diet, cuts it in the morning before he leaves. This will make Bangladesh rise before it dips a bit.
raika45 Aug 27, 2012 12:08pm
If the nation is having problems taking care of it's own people,how do you expect it to help others?Look at Bangladeshi point of view.Even in your country you have the Afghanistan refugee problem and it is a drain on your system.You do not have rich Muslim countries willing to come up with a plan to solve these issues.They wait for other nations or NGO's to solve it.
Syed Aug 27, 2012 11:27pm
I didn't know that, neither did one of my friends, who got a job and then migrated, although having a Pakistani nationality. I think I need to warn him. Thanks for the tip.
Ali Jones Aug 28, 2012 08:42am
yes 100% , I have studies 'em in work and social environments both under test and at a human level
noil Aug 27, 2012 11:14pm
why does Bangladesh only help muslim??? they should help others as well .....! this is show your mentality and conditional love......!