Federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development (OP & HRD) Sajid Hussain Turi on Tuesday said that the government is working to allocate a quota to Overseas Employment Promoters (OEPs) in order to increase manpower exports with a target of one million exports of manpower this year.
Addressing the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Turi said that he is tapping into new markets and has visited many countries including Romania, Portugal and Greece, who have shown an interest in importing manpower from Pakistan. “Malta, Poland, Hungary, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Tajikistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq have also shown an interest in importing Pakistani manpower and MoUs are being signed with many of them,” he said.
“Over 4700 OEPs are working in Pakistan, of which about 2200 are active,” he said, emphasising that “OEPs should play a role in promoting the export of manpower and to facilitate them in this respect, the government will be including OEPs in delegations so they can explore new avenues as well.
Special courts will also be set up to process the cases of overseas Pakistanis within 60 days, and more schools and industrial homes for them will also be set up.” The federal minister explained that protector offices in Islamabad, Sukkur, Abbottabad, Bannu, Gilgit Baltistan will also be opened to facilitate OEPs. “A new policy for Community Welfare Attaches (CWAs) is also being made to give them targets for community welfare and address the issues of overseas Pakistanis,” added Turi. ICCI President Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari said, “With Pakistan’s low level of foreign exchange reserves, promoting the export of manpower is the best way to enhance remittances and improve our forex reserves.”
“Around 65% of Pakistan’s population is quite young and the government should equip this talent with the latest skills and training to improve their prospects,” stressed Bakhtawari.