The Bangladesh Embassy in Riyadh is making extensive arrangements to hold job fairs on Jan. 30 and Feb. 1 in Riyadh and Jeddah respectively to attract Saudi recruiting companies.
The programs in Riyadh and Jeddah will include seminars, workshops and B-to-B meetings between Bangladeshi officials and local job agents, Bangladesh Ambassador Golam Moshi told Arab News.
The interaction between the two parties will raise awareness about labor regulations and recruitment schemes in the two countries, he said.
More than 100 local companies will take part in the Riyadh job fair, which will be attended by senior government officials from labor-related organizations from the two countries, said the ambassador.
“We have some 50,000 employment visas for our workers in the hospital, hotel, maintenance and construction sectors,” said the envoy.
“We send around 4,000 maids a month to Saudi Arabia,” he said, pointing out that the total number of Bangladeshi maids working in the Kingdom has risen to 103,000.
Bangladesh has some 1.2 million workers in Saudi Arabia, who are mainly skilled and semi-skilled employees spread across in various parts of the country.
“We have around 48 categories of workers serving in all parts of Saudi Arabia,” the envoy added.
Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia enjoy excellent bilateral relations, he pointed out. “Our relationship is bound by religion, culture and common understanding,” the ambassador stressed.
Housemaids and other workers, who arrive in Saudi Arabia for employment, are given a comprehensive orientation program at the Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET) in Dhaka, said the envoy. There are four such training centers in Bangladesh, he said.
”The maids and domestic aides are taught spoken Arabic, Saudi culture and the social environment here. They are also trained on using household appliances such as vacuum cleaners, refrigerators, washing machines and microwave ovens,” he said.
On behalf of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the envoy thanked King Salman for opening recruitment channels from Bangladesh to deploy more workers to Saudi Arabia.
Remittances from migrant workers have played a vital role in the economic development of Bangladesh.
Remittances are the largest single source of foreign exchange in Bangladesh, which were 10 times higher than the official development assistance received by Bangladesh in fiscal year 2011-12.
In 2012, Bangladesh ranked sixth among the 10 top remittance-receiving countries and second largest remittance receiver in South Asia, according to World Bank data.
A recent study by the World Bank shows that remittances contributed to reducing the poverty level by 1.5 percent in Bangladesh. It accounts for 66 percent of total foreign reserves.
In 2015, remittances in Bangladesh hit a record high of $15.32 billion.