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'Qatar appreciates efforts of expatriate workers'

'Qatar appreciates efforts of expatriate workers'


Malek Helali
Doha
THE migration of expatriate workers to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries differs from that to Europe, Canada and the US, which explains the different migration laws adopted by the GCC states, according to Sultan al Kuwari, assistant undersecretary for statistical affairs at the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics.
He was speaking on behalf of the minister of development planning and statistics at a workshop held by the Permanent Population Committee (PPC) on Monday.
The workshop was organised in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund of the GCC and the International Organization for Migration on the basics of management of expatriate workers, and opportunities and challenges in the Arab states of the Gulf.
Kuwari noted that the immigration legislations in the western countries take into account the permanent nature of migration often received by these countries in contrast to the migration involving fixed-term employment contracts in the Gulf.
"While Qatar appreciates the efforts of its white and blue-collar expatriate workers, it is also keen to address the effects that their large numbers and the diversity of their nationalities and cultures can have on the demographics and cultural characteristics of the Qatari society," Kuwari said.
He noted that the country has been keen to bring manpower in order to achieve its ambitious developmental projects since it does not possess sufficient Qatari human resources capable of implementing these projects.
Kuwari explained that these workers then return home with resources and expertise enabling them to improve their living conditions and contribute to the development of their own countries.
Kuwari highlighted the consequent challenges in terms of the increasing pressure on the different public services such as health, education and infrastructure that Qatar is aiming to provide in order to ensure safe and dignified living conditions for the whole population of the state.
The director of the technical office at the PCC noted that GCC countries are among the most attractive countries for employment, with an estimated 50 percent of the total population being expatriates. These large numbers have contributed to the achievement of ambitious development projects in those states, but they have also led to a number of challenges in the economic, social, political and security areas, according to him.

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