The Expatriate Welfare and Employment Ministry will award Commercially Important Person 2017 (CIP) cards to 42 non-resident Bangladeshis from 14 countries for their contribution to the economy.
Thirty six expatriates will receive CIP cards for highest contribution to the economy for remitting foreign currency into Bangladesh and the other six for being the highest importers of the country's products.
Minister Imran Ahmed made the disclosure at a press briefing at the Probashi Kallyan Bhaban in Dhaka on Tuesday, held to mark the International Day of Migrants on December 18.
The award ceremony is scheduled to take place at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre on Thursday.
After a CIP has been awarded the card for their contribution to their respective sector, the person can avail a number of benefits and facilities in Bangladesh for one year.
These facilities include – permission to enter the Bangladesh Secretariat, invitations in various national programmes, priority booking for air, railway and waterway tickets for business purposes, as well as assistance from the foreign ministry in the issuance of visas through letters of introduction that they send to the embassies concerned.
Furthermore, the CIPs will also get access to VVIP lounges at airports, and their family members get priority when booking cabins at government hospitals.
Minister for Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Imran Ahmed said, "Overseas employment of skilled workers is the main target of the government. Our ministry has taken an initiative to set up technical training centres at the upazila level.
"Our government is trying to create new markets in countries such as Croatia, Rumania, Poland and Uganda. The remittance inflow will increase more in the upcoming period."
Discussing the Malaysian labourer market, the minister added, "The market remains closed due to internal issues of Malaysia. We are ready to do anything from our side."
The minister expressed optimism that the labour market will open very soon.
He also mentioned that the returning of female workers from Saudi Arabia has decreased after the Joint Technical Committee meeting of both countries, which took place on November 27 this year.
"If evidence of irregularities is found against any Saudi recruiting agency, the ministry will blacklist it. We will not send any more workers through those agencies. We are optimistic that the safety and security of female workers will continue to improve in the future," he added.
Secretary of the ministry Salim Reza was present at the press conference among many others.
The International Day of Migrants will be observed across the globe on December 18. Minister Imran Ahmed said that Bangladesh will observe the day focusing on the theme, "Go abroad with skills, and attain both money and honour."
A colourful procession will be held on Wednesday on the Manik Mia Avenue in Dhaka.
On Thursday, events such as the CIP award ceremony, inauguration of life insurance facility for migrant workers, scholarship for meritorious students from migrant workers' families and a Migrants Fair will be held at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina will be present as the chief guest in the function.