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Govt formulating diaspora policy to unlock potential

Staff Correspondent
26 Jul 2023 23:11:45 | Update: 27 Jul 2023 00:39:35
Govt formulating diaspora policy to unlock potential

The government is currently formulating a groundbreaking policy to harness the immense potential of the Bangladeshi diaspora in supporting the country's national development.

Approximately 2.4 million Bangladeshi diaspora members residing around the world are actively contributing to both local and global communities, not only through financial remittances but also by leveraging their specialised skills, knowledge, and technical expertise, said officials of the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment at a workshop to validate the draft National Diaspora Policy.

The development of this policy has received support from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) through the Global Programme on Making Migration Work for Sustainable Development (Phase III), which has been funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

Speaking as the chief guest, Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad said that the National Diaspora Policy would play a pivotal role in harnessing the capabilities of the diaspora.

“Our commitment as a champion country for the Global Compact for Migration is to create a conducive environment for our diaspora to contribute significantly to our sustainable development. Our diaspora represents not only a vast pool of potential investment but also a source of invaluable skills and knowledge,” he added.

Presiding over the workshop, Dr Ahmed Munirus Saleheen, senior secretary of MoEWOE, acknowledged that the diaspora could be engaged in diverse areas beyond remittances.

He said that the policy aims to view the diaspora as investors, consumers, tourists, public diplomats, and ambassadors for the nation. The goal is to adopt a comprehensive and strategic approach to effectively engage with them.

Abdusattor Esoev, IOM's Chief of Mission in Bangladesh, stressed the unique capacity of the diaspora to contribute to national development. He underscored the importance of engaging, enabling, and empowering the diaspora for the country's progress.

Speakers at the workshop emphasised that members of the Bangladeshi diaspora possess significant potential to play an instrumental role in the nation's development, contributing to both its economic and social dimensions.

Several critical areas, such as country branding, diaspora diplomacy, trade, diaspora tourism, and the establishment of diaspora networks, can substantially benefit from diaspora engagement, ultimately elevating Bangladesh's global standing, they said.

The engagement of the diaspora has become a central developmental priority for many countries, and global initiatives recognize the progress in this direction, they added.

Md Hamidur Rahman, director-general of Wage Earners Welfare Board, Md Shahidul Alam, director general of BMET, Dr Mallick Anwar Hossain, director-general of Bangladesh Overseas Employment and Services Ltd, Prof Abul Barkat, chief advisor of Human Development Research Centre, Dr Nasim Ahmed, joint secretary of Research and Policy Wing of MoEWOE, Shyamal Dutta, editor of Bhorer Kagoj, and Mohammed Yaseen Chowdhury, general secretary of NRB CIP Association.