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Saudi Arabia lifts ban on Bangladeshi workers

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Riyadh, Aug 11 (IANS) Saudi Arabia has lifted a six-year-old ban on the recruitment of Bangladeshi workers.

The Ministry of Labour and Social Development of Saudi Arabia lifted the ban on workers as of Wednesday, reports Arab News.

The decision will benefit all categories of workers including skilled, unskilled and professionals such as doctors, nurses, teachers, farm and construction workers, Golam Moshi, Dhaka’s envoy to Saudi Arabia, told Arab News on Thursday.

He recalled that opening the recruitment channels from Bangladesh is subsequent to the meeting between Saudi King Salman and Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in June.

“We are thankful to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman for allowing us to resume recruitment,” Moshi said.

The ban did not apply to female domestic workers who make up for 60,000 of the 1.3 million Bangladeshis working currently.

“Visas for male domestic helpers were issued only from June, and there is a sizable number coming into the Kingdom regularly,” he said, adding that 6,000 female workers on average are arriving per month.

“We have around 48 categories of workers serving in all parts of the Kingdom,” the envoy added.

In January, Minister of Labour Mufrej Al-Haqabani and Bangladesh Minister for Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Nurul Islam decided to increase the number of Bangladeshi housemaids.

Both ministers agreed to enhance cooperation in the manpower sector by addressing issues like reducing migration cost, imparting training to Saudi Arabia-bound workers and recruiting more male workers for mutual benefit.

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