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A highly sophisticated network should be established to meet the demand and supply of the manpower abroad

Jul 17 - 23, 2000

The proliferation of information technology across the globe has opened tremendous opportunities specially for the third world countries by exporting manpower and imparting them training in this special field. This seems to be the second phase of a boom for manpower export due to increasing demand of IT personnel.

According to the economic survey 1999-2000, during the year 1999, about 80500 persons have been sent abroad for employment. At its level best, efforts are being made to explore more overseas employment opportunities for Pakistani workforce. High level of contacts are being established with manpower importing countries like Saudi Arabia, U.A.E, Kuwait, Oman and Far East countries. A highly sophisticated network should be established to meet the demand and supply of the manpower abroad because only having the opportunity is not alone enough, but the manpower should also trained in a way which creates an automatic follow up from host country.

Ministry has established a data bank of the interested emigrants and has launched the " CV-on-line" scheme for overseas employment promotion in order to facilitate overseas employment in professional and highly skilled areas. But it is highly recommended that it must be done with transparency and proper vigilance. Furthermore, National Institute of Labour Administration Training (NILAT), Vocational Training Institute and Bureau of Emigration are also imparting training to workers in different fields to improve their skills for both domestic and overseas employment opportunities.

Recently, Ibrahim Khan, Director General Bureau of Immigration, in a newspaper, stated that Pakistan is poised to export 95000 workers to different countries during this calendar year posting a 20 per cent increase as compared to last year. He further stated that last year Pakistan exported 80,000 workers to different countries including Saudi Arabia, UAE and Middle East. Demand for Pakistani workers has been increasing drastically in Saudi Arabia and Libya after the recent visits of Chief Executive and Federal Minister for Labour, Manpower and Overseas Pakistanis, he added.

The Director General further pointed out that this year 44,805 workers have been sent abroad as compared to last year's figures of 40,254. He said that an increase of 40 per cent in manpower export has been showed by Rawalpindi Bureau.

He further said that overall there is 12 per cent increase in manpower export at the national level which is expected to increase further due to favourable policies of the Government.

Worldwide demand for IT professionals has tremendously increased so it can be highly productive for countries like Pakistan to produce highly skilled IT professionals from export view point to reap the immense scope in international markets.

There are ample opportunities for Pakistani manpower at an international level in countries like UK and USA besides Arab countries. So highly skilled professionals must be produced at large and create employment opportunities in foreign countries specially public organizations. Because more manpower export will be resulted in more home remittances which will certainly help to low down the negative balance of payment by increasing foreign reserves of the countries.

Exporting the skilled labour and manpower in fields other than IT can also be a major source to generate foreign exchange and boost up foreign remittances. So it is imperative to train professionals like educationists, doctors, engineers, scientists, lawyers and provide them overseas working opportunities.

During the writing of this article PAGE came across, and was shocked by the indifferent attitude of workers and staff of the Overseas Employment Corporation of Pakistan. It is not only extremely hard to get the necessary informations but also the general attitude was that of an unwelcoming attitude at every level. The oft-repeated refrain was that only the chief was entitled to give any information which never came.

Claim from official resources for 12 per cent increase in manpower export at national level is a healthy sign because expatriate employees play a very important role for the progressive development of the country, so their importance can not be overlooked as a big contributor. But this should also keep in view that exported working force must be equipped with all modern tools to fulfil international standards. Productive efforts at all levels is the only way to get the lucrative benefits and also create demand for our manpower export.

Official surveys, analyses and statements are showing an optimistic outlook for the future but it is highly recommended that all the steps should be coupled with highly skilled leadership for effective implementation which always lacks in national plans.