The United Arab Emirates yesterday inked a deal for recruiting between 1,000 and 2,000 female household workers a month from Bangladesh, which is being considered a major breakthrough.
Dhaka is considering the move as the resumption of manpower market in the oil-rich Gulf nation, the second largest manpower destination for Bangladesh.
Manpower export to the UAE had almost stopped after it refrained from issuing visas to Bangladeshi workers since August 2012, alleging malpractices in recruitment process and the use of fake documents by Bangladesh nationals.
Senior officials travelling with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's delegation in the UAE told The Daily Star yesterday that the UAE agreed to initially hire at least 1,000 female workers a month and the number could be gradually increased.
With the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, female workers could be sent to the UAE on favourable terms and conditions so that the security of the workers could be ensured, they said.
“The female workers will be given protection … like their safety and security, salary and allowances, safe accommodation and travel,” Secretary Khondaker Showkat Hossain of the Ministry of Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment said.
Each worker would receive minimum 950 Dirham, about Tk 19,633 a month.
The workers would go to the UAE after completion of all necessary procedures, including registration and training with Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training.
In the first phase, the workers recruited would be of 14 categories, including housemaids, drivers, and gardeners.
The MoU was signed in Abu Dhabi between the BMET of Bangladesh and Amala, the UAE government authorised manpower company, which was formed through the social security fund of the UAE home ministry.
Director General of BMET Shamsun Nahar and Chairman of Amala group Humaid Mohammed Al Muhiri signed the MoU on behalf of their respective sides.
Dhaka is expecting to sign several deals with the UAE during the official talks between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and UAE Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in Abu Dhabi around noon local time today.
The deals include security cooperation, transfer of sentenced prisoners, handing over a plot to UAE embassy in Dhaka, foreign office consultation, an agreement on establishing a hospital by Al-Nahyan Foundation in Rangunia of Chittagong, an agreement on visa exemption for diplomatic and official passport holders, another MoU on cooperation in higher education and scientific research.
The two countries were likely to sign a joint statement.
“We will take the agreements for signing at the official talks, but we are not yet sure whether all will be signed,” said a senior official at the foreign ministry.
LABOUR ATTACHÉ IN DHAKA
The UAE is planning to appoint a labour attaché to its mission in Dhaka early next year to ease the manpower import process from Bangladesh, reports UNB from Abu Dhabi.
UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said this as he met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her hotel there.
"The UAE foreign minister during the meeting told the prime minister that they've a plan to appoint a labour attaché to their Bangladesh mission," Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali said while briefing reporters after the meeting.
Mahmood Ali said the plan to appoint a labour attaché by the UAE is a positive move as well as a positive development. "We're working and we're discussing to get a joint communiqué at the end of the visit," he said.