Staff Correspondent

Dr Hasan Mahmud also attended the National Day reception hosted by the ambassador at Hotel Hilton as special guest and met the ministers, high dignitaries and a cross section of Bangladeshi people living in the UAE.

At a reception organised by Bangabandhu Parishad in the UAE, Mahmud urged the Bangladeshi community members to work for the country and help establish Bangladeshi expatriates in the UAE as a disciplined and law-abiding community.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) assured Bangladesh of not retrenching Bangladeshi workers and sending them back, Commerce Minister Faruk Khan said yesterday after his visit to the gulf nation last week.

The workers who have completed their job contracts are returning from the UAE. So, there is nothing to worry, said Faruk who held official talks with UAE Foreign Trade Minister Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi in Abu Dhabi last week.

Meanwhile, a total of 102 Bangladeshi workers returned from abroad on special travel passes yesterday. Of them, 56 returned from the UAE while 35 from Malaysia, nine from Kuwait and two from Saudi Arabia.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Hasan Mahmud yesterday requested the UAE government to retain the Bangladeshi workers and extend their job contracts, says a foreign ministry press release.

After attending an international dialogue on migration in Geneva, Mahmud is now visiting the UAE where there around 9 lakh Bangladeshi workers, the second largest labour market after Saudi Arabia.

The government is making such efforts as Bangladeshi workers abroad are being axed following the global economic recession. Already, increased numbers of Bangladeshis have returned home from Malaysia, Singapore, UAE and Saudi Arabia that creates an uncertainty over overseas job market of Bangladesh.

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni and Expatriates’ Welfare Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain are also visiting Malaysia. Dipu Moni held talks with some high-ranking ministers of Malaysia, while Mosharraf is scheduled to meet its home and human resources minister to talk on the labour issue.

Dr Hasan Mahmud during his meeting with the UAE Labour Minister Saqr Ghobash Saeed Ghobash discussed the ways to best address the challenges of the ongoing economic meltdown, including easing the procedure of changing residency visa and online access for visa verification to avoid visa forgery.

Bangladeshi workers are often deported from Dubai Airport because of visa forgery that causes losses to both the workers and the manpower business.

“Such visa forgery is possible because there is no scope to verify genuineness of the visas issued by the UAE. It can be verified through online system like other countries to check forgery,” said an official.

During the meeting, Saqr Ghobash said protection of workers must start from the country of origin as those workers should not arrive in the UAE saddled with debts, Gulf News from Dubai reported yesterday.

Dr Hasan Mahmud also met his counterpart Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash at UAE foreign affairs ministry and discussed the bilateral matters, including trade, investment and Bangladeshi labours working in the Gulf country.

The state minister requested for more UAE investment in Bangladesh in energy, refinery and other areas of infrastructure.