State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam MP had a meeting with the Ms. Hend S.B. Al Subaih, the Minister of Social Affairs and Labour and the Minister of State for Planning and Development of Kuwait this afternoon at the Kuwait parliament. Mr. Alam deeply appreciated the Government of Kuwait for hosting a large number of Bangladesh workers in Kuwait and for recruiting increased number of Bangladeshis in the last two years. He thanks the Kuwait side for the ongoing general amnesty declared by the Kuwait government which will give opportunity to regularize the irregular migrant workers. Mr. Alam requested for hiring more Bangladeshis particularly professionals, skilled and semi-skilled workers. Kuwaiti Minister assured of positive consideration on Bangladesh’s request. In this context, both sides agreed on working together to enact the Cooperation Agreement on Manpower (2000) and to form a Joint Working Group under the aegis of the agreement.
Regarding the recent media report on imposing ban on recruitment of workers from Bangladesh, the Kuwaiti Minister clarified that there is no ban or restriction on any category of work visa those are processed by the Labour Ministry of Kuwait. However, the Interior Ministry issues visas for domestic helpers in favour of Kuwaiti individuals which is known as category 20 visa. As gathered, Kuwait authorities have observed some irregularities in this sector and imposed temporary restriction on issuance of such visas to review and streamline the sector. Both sides agreed to work together to establish centres of excellence for Kuwait-bound workers in Bangladesh. Kuwait side also assured of addressing different challenges faced by Bangladesh community in Kuwait.
Mr. Alam appreciated the leading role of Kuwait in extending humanitarian assistance to the forcibly displaced Rohingya people who took shelter in Bangladesh. Ms Hend, within her capacity as the Minister of Social Affairs and the State Minister for Planning and Development, assured of increased assistance to Bangladesh through the charitable organizations of Kuwait working in Bangladesh and through the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development. Mr. Alam extended an invitation to the Kuwait Minister which she readily accepted and expressed her keen interest to undertake the visit soon.
Earlier this morning, the State Minister had a meeting with the Director General of the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development at its headquarters in Kuwait City while they agreed to finalize the loan agreement for financing the Urban Infrastructure Improvement Projects for 51 municipalities in northern area of Bangladesh at the soonest possible. Mr. Alam also had a meeting today with the Secretary General of Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) at its Secretariat in Kuwait while the ACD Secretary General recalled the representation of Bangladesh by the State Minister to the 2nd ACD Summit held in Bangkok in October 2016. They exchanged views on increased cooperation between Bangladesh and the ACD in the coming days. It may be noted that Bangladesh is a founding member of 34 nations ACD and Co-prime Mover for its cooperation agenda in the area of Food, Water and Energy Security and Connectivity. The State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam MP was in Kuwait for a two-day official visit at the invitation of the Deputy Foreign Minister of Kuwait and they held bilateral talks yesterday.