4,000 Bangladeshi workers goes to South Korea this year-end

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Dhaka, Oct 5 (UNI) Some 4,000 Bangladeshi workers are likely to leave for South Korea under the Employment Permit System (EPS) at the end of this year.

Bangladesh and South Korea signed an MoU on the EPS during Foreign Affairs Adviser Dr Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury's visit to Seoul in June last. The MoU is aimed at protecting the welfare of the workers.

''We hope, thousands of Bangladeshi workers will benefit from the scheme, it will also resolve the problems linked with recruiting agencies being criticised here and there,'' South Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh Suk-Bum Park was quoted by UNB as saying today.

He said thousands of young Bangladeshi workforce are now learning Korean language in different institutes as they will have to appear for Korean language test before going to Korea.

South Korea is pised to receive Bangladeshi workers at a time when Malaysian authorities barried migrant workers from the country following reports of frauds by private recruiting agencies in Dhaka and Kuala Lumpur. The fradulent practices by recruiting agencies turned hundreds of Bangladeshi workers stranded in Kuala Lumpur without food and job.

The Korean envoy said there is no concept of quota unlike previous recruitment. ''The new system is based on merit, more the people qualify, more will they go.'' The Ambassador, however, indicated that around 10,000 Bangladeshi workers might go to Korea annually if they know the Korean language.

''These temporary workers can stay for three years and do decent jobs if they know the language,'' he said.

Presently, some 12,000 to 13,000 Bangladeshi workers are employed in Korea, many of them overstaying.

South Korea needs foreign workers in construction, small and medium enterprises, service sectors, agriculture and fisheries.

In reply to a question, the envoy said there are roughly 3,00,000 foreign workers in Korea, mostly from China. He said, annually they will require about 1,00,000 foreign workers if replacement goes well.


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