Saudi Arabia remains top destination for Bangladeshi migrant workers
Saudi Arabia continues to be the favorite destination for Bangladeshi migrant workers, a central bank report has shown, as the South Asian nation prepares to send more skilled workers to the Kingdom.
Nearly 100,000 Bangladeshis migrated to Saudi Arabia in the last quarter of 2022 alone, according to a report published on Saturday by the Bangladesh Bank. Saudi employers hired more than half of Bangladesh migrant workers last year.
Saudi Arabia was the second-biggest source of remittances to Bangladesh in the fourth quarter last year, just behind the US, as workers brought in about $910 million from the Kingdom during the period, the central bank report showed.
“The Bangladeshi migrants nurture a special feeling in their heart for this country, which encourages many of them to find jobs in the Kingdom,” Gazi Mohammed Shahed Anowar, deputy secretary at the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment, told Arab News.
“For many years, Saudi Arabia has been considered the first choice for Bangladeshi migrants,” he said. “Many of our migrants are already working in the Kingdom. So, the existing migrants in the Kingdom facilitate new jobs for their relatives in Bangladesh.”
Bangladesh has begun preparations to send skilled workers to Saudi Arabia for the first time under the newly launched Skill Verification Program, which aims to improve the professional competence of employees in the Saudi labor market.
With the Kingdom set to recruit skilled workers from the South Asian country, this too would help boost remittances.
“We are working on preparing the skilled workers for this labor market. I think our remittance flow from the Kingdom will increase more in the coming days if we can successfully meet the demands of skilled workers in the Kingdom,” Anowar said.
Bangladesh is also reaping benefits from strong diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia, said Shariful Hasan, head of the migration program at the country’s largest development organization, BRAC.
“The country is in growing need of migrant workers also, as they have undertaken some mega projects,” Hasan told Arab News.
“If we send 100,000 skilled workers, we can even earn more in remittances,” Hasan said.
“Considering the last 50 years, Saudi Arabia is still the top source of remittances for Bangladesh, and I don’t think this situation will change very soon.”