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Qatar a model for Gulf countries in labour reforms: Bangladesh envoy

Qatar a model for Gulf countries in labour reforms: Bangladesh envoy

Ashraf Siddiqui
doha
THE outgoing Ambassador of Bangladesh to Qatar HE Ashud Ahmed has praised the labour reforms undertaken by Qatar for migrant workers, describing Qatar as a role model for the Gulf region in this regard.
In an exclusive interview with Qatar Tribune, the ambassador said that bilateral relations between Qatar and Bangladesh have been strengthened in different sectors during his posting in Qatar, including in trade, energy, investment, civil aviation and tourism, telecommunications, sports, culture, and defence.
On the diplomatic and political ties, Ahmed said the leaderships of the two countries have been in regular contact while several high-level bilateral ministerial visits have taken place. He gave examples of the visits by top officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare & Overseas Employment; Energy; and Sports & Culture, adding that parliamentarians, defence sector officials and representatives of various public and private organisations from the two countries have also exchanged visits.
According to him, the bilateral trade between Qatar and Bangladesh was estimated at around $1.47 billion, including Bangladeshi exports worth $47 million to Qatar.
He expressed his gratitude to Qatar for its moral support to Rohingya refugees at various forums like United Nations and Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC). He said Bangladesh was the first country that supported Qatar’s candidature for UNESCO’s top position contested by HE Dr Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al Kuwari.
Talking on the 5th Joint Committee Meetings on Labour Migration held in the beginning of 2020 in Dhaka and Doha, he said that since 80 percent of Bangladesh’s workforce has been engaged in different 2022 FIFA World Cup-related projects, the possibility of redundancy of unskilled Bangladeshi workers on completion of these projects and matters related to replacing them with skilled ones topped the agenda of both the Foreign Office Consultations (FCO) and the 5th Joint Committee meetings.
He said the FOC was attended by ministers of state for foreign affairs of both countries, where it was also decided to expedite signing of a number of pending instruments with a view to expanding cooperation in diverse areas.
Ahmed also praised Qatar for its measures to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. He thanked Qatar’s Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs; Ministry of Interior of Qatar; Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar and Qatar Charity for the humanitarian support offered by them to needy Bangladeshis by providing them with food packets and other necessities. He said the foreign minister of Bangladesh had sent two written messages to his Qatari counterpart conveying his deep appreciation and gratitude for providing excellent medical facilities and services.
Ambassador Ahmed also lauded the resilience demonstrated by Qatar and its self-sufficiency efforts following the blockade imposed on the country by some of its neighbouring countries, under the dynamic leadership of the Amir of Qatar His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
He also also thanked the embassy officials and Bangladeshi forums for providing food packets to needy Bangladeshi expatriates and facilitating repatriation of 3,000 stranded Bangladeshi workers during the period of crisis unleashed by the pandemic.
The envoy said that more than 400,000 Bangladeshi nationals are working in various sectors of Qatar and contributing to the spectacular development of the country.
He also appreciated the role played by Bangladesh Forum Qatar (BFQ), Bangladesh Community Qatar (BCQ), and Bangladesh School in strengthening harmony between Bangladeshi nationals and other expatriates and Qatari nationals.

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