While thousands of Bangladeshi migrants are being sent back home amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the government is exploring new destinations to send workers.
The destinations are: Cambodia, Poland, China, Romania, Croatia, and the Seychelles; according to the parliamentary committee of the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment.
The committee recommended implementing the initiatives of sending workers to these countries as soon as possible.
The recommendation came at the ninth meeting of the committee of the eleventh national parliament.
Shamim Ahmed Chowdhury Noman, secretary general of the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (Baira), said, "We have good employment opportunities in European countries like: Romania, Poland, Portugal, Moldova, and Croatia. Some people already went to these countries before the pandemic and new demand is being created."
"We are waiting to see government initiatives to send people to these countries. There will be a large demand for workers in the health and agriculture sectors after the pandemic," he continued.
"We have seen the fragile condition of the health sector all over the world amid the pandemic. The governments of different countries will prioritise the health sector after Covid-19 and make major investments which will create immense employment opportunities," he added.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen recently said some African countries had expressed interest in recruiting around 40 lakh Bangladeshi workers in the agriculture sector.
"Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania, and the Gambia are interested in hiring 40 lakh workers of our country for agriculture. Our ambassadors are working on it," he said.
Additionally, the government is taking initiatives so that the destination countries do not send back Bangladeshi migrants.
Considering the issue, the parliamentary committee emphasised a continuation of diplomatic efforts of Bangladesh's missions in different countries to prevent shrinking of the existing labour market for Bangladeshi workers.
The committee also prioritised resending jobless returnees to their destination countries.
It mentioned that a project had been taken up by the Wage Earners' Welfare Board for the reintegration of returnees–funded by the World Bank.
Additionally, relief and medicine worth around Tk11 crore were distributed among migrants by the Bangladesh missions abroad during the pandemic, the committee said.
At the meeting, Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad said, "The government is producing skilled workers to fulfill demand on the international labour market in the post-[novel]coronavirus era. We are establishing more technical training centres."
The meeting was presided over by lawmaker Anisul Islam Mahmud, chairman of the committee. Members of the committee were also present.
Currently, over one crore Bangladeshi migrants are working in different countries across the world.
Due to the pandemic, there are fewer job opportunities in many countries.
According to the Brac Migration Programme, around seven lakh Bangladeshis returned from different countries between January and March this year, and some two to 2.5 lakh of them are migrants.
Some 78,043 Bangladeshi migrants returned home from 26 countries amid the pandemic between April 1 and August 22, according to data from the expatriates' welfare ministry.