Joint task force to protect Bangladeshi job seekers in Saudi Arabia: Hasan

Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud addresses a meeting to exchange views with expatriate Bangladeshis at the Bangladesh Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on 1 July 2024BSS

Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud has said a joint task force of Bangladesh and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) will be formed aimed at protecting the Bangladeshi job seekers from fraud.

He disclosed this during a meeting with Bangladeshi expatriates at the Bangladesh Embassy in Riyadh on Monday evening, a foreign ministry press release said Tuesday.  

Prime minister’s adviser on private industry and investment, Salman F. Rahman, attended the meeting as a special guest.

Earlier on the day, Hasan Mahmud and his Saudi Arabian counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan led their respective sides at the second round of political consultations between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia in Riyadh.

In his address at the expatriates gathering, Hasan Mahmud said he had productive discussions with the Saudi foreign minister regarding the task force, which aims to enhance transparency in the recruitment of Bangladeshi workers to Saudi Arabia and prevent harassment by unscrupulous agents.

He highlighted the significant development achievements of Bangladesh under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

He noted that the progress of Bangladesh, founded by the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been globally praised, including by the Saudi government.

Hasan emphasised the substantial contributions of expatriates to the country’s economy.

He outlined several government initiatives for expatriates, including incentives for remittance transfers, online offshore banking management for foreign currency accounts, universal pension benefits, and loans through the Expatriate Welfare Bank.

The minister urged the expatriates to adhere to local laws and stay vigilant against anti-nation propaganda.

He assured them of enhancing consular services at the Bangladeshi missions in Saudi Arabia.

He also addressed the concerns of expatriates and assured to resolve issues such as the hiring of more skilled Bangladeshi professionals in Saudi Arabia and easing the renewal of residence permits (iqama).

The foreign minister also pledged promoting cultural exchange between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia, launching direct flights from Chattogram to Riyadh, offering wage earner bonds, providing expatriate health insurance, repatriating the bodies of deceased expatriates, legal assistance, passport renewal through the embassy, correcting NID card information, and renewing family visas.

Salman F. Rahman spoke about the various investment opportunities available for expatriate Bangladeshis, including offshore banking.

He called upon the expatriates to help raise awareness among Bangladeshis in Saudi Arabia to prevent fraud and emphasised the importance of verifying employers’ credentials before migrating to Saudi Arabia.

Bangladesh Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Md. Javed Patwary presided over the meeting.

Expatriate academics, physicians, business representatives, and professionals attended the event.