A meeting of the trade ministers of the least developed countries (LDCs) was held in Dhaka more than two years ago and in it the Bangladesh delegation was the driving force for the adoption of a resolution that called for freer movement of workers or the natural persons worldwide. Indeed, this has become a cornerstone of Bangladesh's foreign policy. But the policy also needs fine tuning.
Presently, Bangladesh receives a huge amount of foreign currency from its expatriate workers but has no plans to channel these funds gainfully for the long term economic development of the country. There have been proposals made to draw funds of the expatriate workers into industrial bonds to be sold by the government. The same could notably increase the rate of remittances while giving a spur to industrialisation of the country which is lagging due to insufficiency of funds. But hard measures to this end and other ways to make the best possible use of the remitted moneys are yet to be taken and pursued.
Besides, policies are also needed to stop free-style migration of professionals from Bangladesh; their leaving in many cases are leading to worrisome brain drain and costing the country dear in futile spending on them to educate and train them for other countries to get the benefit of their services while their unfilled ranks at home create serious gaps in meeting targets of services delivery.
Samiul Haque (Sabuj)
Khulna, KDA Avenue