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Thursday, February 12, 2009

New markets for Bangladeshi people power!

No matter how much you laugh at me, but somehow I could not get over this term which became very fond of since last year. Its called ‘strategic migration’. The term was mentioned in one of the posts here in this blog and one of the visitors jokingly commented on that as well, saying that ‘what else to expect from an MBA with a strategic management major (which is me)’. Nevertheless, my hopes are rekindled again seeing that government is rethinking their strategy to export Bangladeshi manpower to new markets.

I always dreamt of sending packs of Bangladeshi manpower to vast empty lands of Russia. I always wondered how unfair it is that a country like Russia has such a vast amount of land with such a low population comparing to Bangladesh. And, why should we remain squeezed back to back against each other in the largest delta of the world, but which is still one of the smallest countries of the world. So we should be the first to recognize that our natural biggest comparative advantage as a nation is our manpower. The more we train them, the more we export them, the better it is. It will not only help the country to get more remittances, but it will also make sure that we just have enough people in the country that it can accommodate, environmentally, socially speaking.

Also, we should explore how this term 'manpower' can be effectively changed to 'people power', so that equal number of Bangladeshi women can be trained and sent to countries with proper jobs which might fit their skills, cultural and social orientations etc.

I hope to live to that day when Bangladeshi manpower and Bangladeshis will have imprinted their footmark in almost every country of the world, pretty much like the Chinese or even more like the Indians I suppose. Lets come out of our homes, conquer new territories with our merit and culture. Lets leave a mark.

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Bangladeshi said...

Thanks for the post. However, I'd like to see this manpower export from a different perspective. While there is no denying the fact that the remittance earned through this export is a lifeline for our economy, it surely comes with a price. As majority of our expat workers are in 'blue collar' category, Bangladesh is perceived by many people in the world (particularly the entire Middle East) as a country that can only produce low quality unskilled people. And this situation also hurts our 'White Collar' expats in every step of their life. Moreover, where is the pride in being tagged as a "Cheap Labor Country"? To me, this is totally humiliating. On the contrary, world has all together a very different view towards countries like India who provides mostly 'White Collar' Executives to the rest of the world. They have gained respectable social positions (as a community) in the Middle East & also in the West.

So my suggestion would be, while we reluctantly continue to export our unskilled manpower, we should seriously focus on skill development at all levels through quality education programs. We should lay down a strategy to gradually get out of this cheap label. As lots of efforts are undertaken recently for "Branding Bangladesh", I don't think these efforts will gain much steam while we're still perceived as a nation that exports mainly cleaners for the entire Middle East and screaming for FDI highlighting CHEAP labor. So, to the Brand Gurus of Bangladesh and of course the Government - pls don't make CHEAP Labor your USP. Remember, there is NO PRIDE in being CHEAP.


Red & Green said...

Dear Bangladeshi,

Your argument is very solid, timely and well taken. I think you are right when you see even in the UK, the Bangladeshis being stuck in the restaurant businesses, cash & carry houses and the grocery shops, you see people from other ethnic groups climbing up the career ladder across various sectors very fast. May be the 'brand doctors' of Bangladesh will listen to what you are proposing.