Over 10 million Bangladeshi workers work abroad in different countries, bringing in over $24 billion annually in remittances to the government.
Malaysian businesses have asked their government to permit the entry of Bangladesh workers as the recovery of several sectors is being affected by an acute labor shortage. Prior to the pandemic, Bangladeshis were the largest foreign labor force in the Southeast Asian country.
Over 200,000 Bangladeshi nationals were working in Malaysia in different sectors like construction and manufacturing. Most of them returned back to their country after the pandemic in 2020. Now, the National Association of Private Employment Agencies in Malaysia (PAPSMA) has asked their government to allow the entry of Bangladeshi workers.
“The manpower shortage is considered to have exceeded two million foreign workers in main sectors that are not of interest to the local workforce, such as manufacturing, construction, and 3D sectors,” Datuk Megat Fairouz Junaidi Megat Junid, the president of the association, was quoted as saying by The Daily Star.
The plantation industry and SMEs have also been affected by the labor shortage.
Earlier this year in February, the Malaysian Palm Oil Association (MPOA) estimated losses of RM1 billion ($220 million) as palm oil could not be harvested on time due to the lack of foreign workers.
Local workers usually don’t take these jobs there. The government is likely to take a decision on the issue in the coming days. Over 10 million Bangladeshi workers work abroad in different countries, bringing in over $24 billion annually in remittances to the government.