Saudi resumes hiring of manpower from Bangladesh

Bangladesh Factory Fire

The manpower market of Saudi Arabia is open again for Bangladeshi workers starting Sunday Feb. 1, a statement issued by the Embassy of Bangladesh in Riyadh yesterday said.

The news of the opening was conveyed to Md. Shahidul Islam, Ambassador of Bangladesh to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, by Dr. Ahmed F. Alfahaid, Deputy Minister for International Affairs of the Ministry of Labor, Saudi Arabia over telephone on the same day.

Alfahaid said the approval from the Royal Court has been received Sunday. The Saudi deputy minister also informed that a high level Saudi delegation comprising representatives from the concerned ministries of Saudi Arabia is expected to visit Bangladesh probably in a week to formulate modalities of the recruitment.

Saudi Labor Minister Engr. Adel bin Muhammad Fakeih expressed his country’s readiness to open up the Saudi labor market for Bangladeshi workers during a bilateral meeting with the Minister for Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment of Bangladesh Engr. Khandker Mosharraf Hossain, MP, last Jan. 19.

The Saudi labor minister also expressed his country’s desire for close cooperation in the area of human resources with Bangladesh during the meeting.

The reopening up of the Saudi labor market for Bangladesh workforce will provide enormous potential for the employment of professionals, skilled, semi-skilled and un-skilled manpower in various sectors of Saudi Arabia.

However, it is worth noting that labor rights in Saudi Arabia have been problematic with many expatriates of lower paid labor intensive work suffering from poor treatment, irregular pay and long difficult hours. Whether the resumption of hiring Bangladeshi manpower will also address these concerns is to be seen. It is unclear whether BD authorities have raised these issues with the Saudi authorities and what measures if any will be taken.