Bahrain sees rise in Pakistani workers
Manama, August 28, 2008
The number of Pakistanis travelling to Bahrain for work has more than doubled in the last six months, officials revealed.
Pakistan Ambassador Ikramullah Mehsud said the figures had jumped from around 400 per month to 1,000, following a concerted effort by the Pakistani government to send more of its skilled professionals to the region.
The country reportedly hopes to double the annual remittances it receives from overseas workers to $12 billion (BD4.4b) within the next two years.
Ministry of Labour, Manpower and Overseas Pakistanis policy planning cell chairman Dr Ghayyur Sabur told Khaleej Times that his government had drafted a policy blueprint to increase its foreign manpower.
He said it had already been circulated to all the relevant ministries and private sector organisations to improve foreign exchange reserves.
It details country-specific measures to increase manpower export to several Gulf countries, including Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE and Qatar, where projects worth billions of dinars are now underway.
Mehsud said no official government documents had reached the embassy about the plan, but added the number of Pakistanis working in Bahrain had gone up steadily since he took up his position in February.
'We had 300 to 400 people coming every month and now we have about 1,000,' he told our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News.
'We are hoping the Minister for Labour, Manpower and Overseas Pakistanis Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah's visit to Bahrain in October will help to improve our co-operation further.'
Pakistan is one of the world's largest producers of dairy products and Mehsud said this was another area of co-operation being pursued.
'Pakistan is an agricultural country and that is one area I am working on,' he said.
'We are interested in Pakistan-Bahrain joint ventures, particularly in the packaging and processing industries and are looking for investors.'
More than 50,000 Pakistanis currently live and work in Bahrain. - TradeArabia News Service