Saudi Arabia to hire 120,000 workers from Bangladesh

Dhaka: About a week after lifting a seven-year employment ban, Saudi Arabia signed a memorandum of understanding with Bangladesh to hire some 120,000 workers in a year from it.

The deal was struck Tuesday night after the visiting 19-member Saudi team, led by Ahmed Bin Fahd Al Fuhaid, deputy minister for the labour ministry’s international affairs department, held official talks with Bangladeshi Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain and other relevant government officials, Xinhua reported.

After the signing ceremony, Haider said that 800 Saudi Riyals (about 16,600 taka) would be the minimum salary of domestic helpers. But minimum wages for other 11 professions were yet to be fixed, he said.

Hossain had earlier said some 10,000 Bangladeshis will get employment in Saudi Arabia every month.

The country will initially recruit maids, drivers and housekeepers from Bangladesh, he said.

The deal was signed about a week after Saudi Arabia withdrew its seven-year-ban on recruiting Bangladeshi workers.

Fuhaid told reporters that Saudi Arabia issued around 1.3 million new visas last year for recruiting foreign workers.

“We still need many workers,” he said after signing the deal.

Saudi employers will bear the full migration cost of the workers, said officials. Currently some 1.3 million Bangladeshis are working in Saudi Arabia.

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