Dhaka to supply 2m workers.
JEDDAH: P.K. ABDUL GHAFOUR
Bangladesh is ready to send 2 million trained workers, including 500,000 maids, to help the Kingdom meet its labor requirements, a diplomat from that country said on Wednesday. This includes engineers, nurses, maids and drivers, said Consul General Shahidul Karim in comments published on Wednesday. Karim said his country has set up 64 centers to train workers. "We have prepared a database of some 2 million qualified workers." A high-level Saudi Labor Ministry delegation is expected to visit Dhaka in a few days to iron out a labor agreement, he said. "The Bangladesh government has informed us that 500,000 maids are ready to travel to the Kingdom," said a Saudi Labor Ministry source, adding that Dhaka has agreed to fulfill all the Kingdom's conditions to resume recruitment from the country. Karim said the Bangladesh government has taken a series of steps to send its workers to the Kingdom, including the formation of a ministry to look after its citizens abroad. He said the recruitment would start only after an agreement is signed with the Saudi government. There are currently 1.2 million Bangladeshi workers in the Kingdom. Mansour bin Abdullah Al-Shathry, chairman of the labor market committee at the Council of Saudi Chambers, said the government's decision to lift the ban on recruitment from Bangladesh would ensure a sufficient supply of foreign workers at a reasonable cost. "This will have a positive impact on the private sector," he said, adding that it would create fair competition among countries that send workers to the Kingdom, including softening their conditions. "I believe that the arrival of Bangladeshi workers will lead to other countries reducing their recruitment costs."
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