For leapfrog jump in remittances

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For better earnings, our people prefer to go abroad in search of employment. The restrictions imposed soon after Covid-19 epidemic plunged to zero the flow of Pakistani workers to other countries, much to the disappointment of many who were considering to or exploring opportunities in foreign markets.

However according to latest report on Pakistan’s economy, the State Bank of Pakistan stated the other day that number of Pakistani nationals migrating for work mostly to Gulf countries has bounced back to pre-Covid-19 level to around 65,000 per month.

This indeed is an encouraging development as those struggling to find jobs in the domestic market will also be able to try their luck abroad after opening of economies there.

The remittances of these workers have over the years proven to be a precious asset for the country to deal with balance of payment crisis.

According to experts, normalisation of the flow of workers to foreign countries along with a surge in income of oil exporting GCC countries indicates the inflow of workers’ remittances to Pakistan will remain steady at around $32 billion in current fiscal year compared to $31 billion during last year.

Nonetheless, we believe that finding more foreign markets for Pakistani workers as well as equipping them with market-based skills can substantially enhance these remittances.

A few weeks back National Assembly was informed that the country is in process of signing agreements with different countries for export of manpower.

The countries with which agreements are being pursued include Romania, Portugal, Denmark, Italy, Belgium, Hungary, Greece, UK, Kuwait, Libya and Lebanon.

Given high-income levels of most of these countries, we believe that agreements with them will be in the best interest of our workers and hence efforts should be accelerated to finalise them at the earliest.

At the same time, special focus should be given to training our youth in different skills so that when they go abroad they could earn handsome incomes like Indians are doing.

The remittances of India stood at $81 billion last year merely because most of their workforce abroad is equipped with latest skills especially in Information Technology.

A leapfrog growth can be witnessed in our remittances as well if we pursue the same path and send more trained and skilled workforce, which in fact is more in demand in many countries of Europe and Gulf.

 

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