A total of 248 Bangladesh expatriate workers left for South Korea from Bangladesh through a chartered flight from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Tuesday. It is the biggest number of the workers left for South Korea in a day so far, said the Embassy in a media release. South Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh Lee Jang-keun said as many as 5,200 Bangladesh workers are expected to have gone to Korea by the end of this year. Until November 1 this year, 3,986 Bangladesh expatriate workers were admitted to Korea which is the largest number since the start of Korea’s Employment Permit System (EPS) in 2008 through which the Korean Government recruits low and medium-skilled foreign workers. Also read: Over five lakh Bangladeshi expats lost jobs during Covid-19 pandemic: Minister Among the departed workers today, a female worker Champa, who would work at a manufacturing factory in Gyeonggi Province for the next four years and ten months, said she does not expect difficulties in Korea as the company would provide food and shelter. Her mother will raise her 10-month-old daughter while she works in Korea.
South Korea, through Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), will start a programme Saturday to increase the capacities of Bangladesh fire service officials to ensure stable operation and efficient management. Five officials from Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence will participate in the 14-day training in the southern half of the Korean Peninsula. The training in South Korea will help them understand the support system of the Emergency Response Control Center, and acquire the procedures and techniques for the operation of a comprehensive disaster prevention system. It will also help them enable a stable system operation and efficient management of fire service and civil defence and strengthen future cooperation in the area. Korea Information Systems Consulting and Audit will organise field visits to important sites and offices for a better understanding of Korea's National Emergency Management Agency. Finally, the Bangladesh officials will develop a country action plan to develop feasible measures to apply the knowledge, technology and experience learned to their workplace. Read: Fire Service control room landphones go out of order
The government of the Republic of Korea has announced its plan to provide US$ 3.2 million in 2022 to support humanitarian assistance for the Rohingyas and their host communities in Bangladesh. This year’s humanitarian assistance will be provided through international organizations such as UNHCR, IOM, WFP, UNICEF and IFRC operating in Cox’s Bazar and Bhasan Char, said the South Korean embassy in Dhaka on Tuesday. According to the Embassy, some portion of this year’s funding will be allocated to the refugees in Bhasan Char for the second year in a row. South Korea has supported UN agencies’ operation in Bhasan Char since the inception of the relocation to the island in 2021. In addition, highly recognizing the generosity of the Bangladesh government and its people for hosting the Rohingyas, the Embassy stressed that a fair portion of this year’s assistance has been allocated to support host communities in Cox’s Bazar which were directly impacted by the refugee influx five years ago. Read:Army to join drive against terrorism, drugs in Rohingya camps: Home Minister Since 2017, the government of the Republic of Korea has continued to provide US$ 4 to US$5 million annually to the Rohingyas and their host communities in Bangladesh in close cooperation with the Bangladesh government and international organizations. Korea’s funding has been used up for various humanitarian activities over the five years including the provision of LPG and food, humanitarian activities in response to fire in the camps, and the provision of services to protect gender-based violence. In addition to annual regular funding, Korea has also assisted humanitarian activities in Cox’s Bazar through KOICA, Korea’s development agency. KOICA is implementing ‘Project for Improving Menstrual Health Management of Adolescent Girls and Women in Cox’s Bazar’ through UNFPA with a budget of US$ 2.95 million. Also, ‘Psychosocial Support Project for Rohingya Women’ has been kicked off this year in cooperation with a Korea’s non-governmental organization. The Embassy said the Republic of Korea supports dialogues between the government of Bangladesh and Myanmar for the repatriation of the refugees and believes that safe, voluntary, dignified and sustainable return of Rohingya refugees to their communities should be realized as soon as possible.
The number of Bangladeshi workers in South Korea, recruited under the Employment Permit System (EPS), is likely to be over 3,600 this year, according to the Dhaka EPS Center. A total of 2,594 Bangladeshi workers have already been recruited by South Korea between January and July 2022. The government of the Republic of Korea plans to allocate over 1,000 additional quotas to Bangladesh this year to meet the increasing demand by Korean employers, said the Korean Embassy in Dhaka on Wednesday. If things go well it will be the highest number since the start of Korea’s EPS programme with Bangladesh in 2008. It was in 2010 that the highest number of Bangladesh EPS workers, 2,691, went to Korea. The South Korean government has been recruiting unskilled foreign workers from 16 selected countries including Bangladesh through the programme called EPS. With a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the two governments, Bangladesh Overseas Employment and Services Limited (BOESL) has been sending Bangladesh expatriate workers to Korea since 2008. Read: UN chief lauds Bangladesh’s socio-economic development Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, however, the South Korean government suspended admitting foreign EPS workers from March 2020 until November 2021. With the improvement of the COVID-19 situation both in Korea and Bangladesh, the Korean government resumed taking the foreign workers in December 2021 under the strict application of quarantine measures before their departure from Bangladesh and after arrival in Korea. Chartered direct flights between Korea and Bangladesh which initially started to carry Korean nationals during the pandemic situation have been used by Bangladesh expatriate workers going to Korea. Since April 2022, the chartered direct flight had carried over 100 Bangladesh workers every week. South Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh Lee Jang-keun has said Bangladeshi expatriate workers have been a central pillar of Korea-Bangladesh friendship and will continue to play an essential role in strengthening bilateral ties in the future. Recognizing the BOESL’s contribution to the Korea-Bangladesh people-to-people exchange by equipping EPS workers to become suitable for their employment in Korea, Ambassador Lee also mentioned that the Embassy and the EPS Dhaka Center will work closely with BOESL not only to increase the number of workers and diversify the areas of their employment but also to prepare more qualified workers.
The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) has called for intensifying cooperation and collaboration between Dhaka and Seoul to realise the full potential of bilateral trade. Many opportunities lie ahead for Bangladesh and South Korea that could be seized through better cooperation in trade and investment, BGMEA President Faruque Hassan said while exchanging views with South Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh Lee Jang-keun in the capital Sunday. Faruque recalled South Korea's contribution to Bangladesh's apparel industry, especially in the early stage of its development. He also thanked the east Asian nation for allowing duty-free access to Bangladesh's ready-made garment (RMG) products in its market. The BGMEA president requested Ambassador Lee to encourage Korean businessmen to invest in the backward linkage industry of Bangladesh – namely, in non-cotton textile. READ: Shringla, BGMEA chief discuss ways to boost bilateral trade Lee and Faruque expressed willingness to work together to deepen and strengthen the bilateral business ties based on the successful collaboration in the RMG sector. They agreed on increasing interchanges between the embassy and the BGMEA – especially in jointly commemorating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries next year. Chairman of BGMEA Standing Committee on Scheduled Bank Md Israfil Atique and Chairman of BGMEA Standing Committee on Trade Fair Mohammed Kamal Uddin were also present.
A new project has been undertaken to empower out-of-school adolescent girls and young women with market-driven occupational skills, transferable skills and job placements with support from the South Korean government.On behalf of the government of Republic of Korea, Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), in collaboration with UNICEF Bangladesh, completed an implementation study by Korean experts.KOICA will provide US$ 6 million grant aid to UNICEF Bangladesh to implement this project (2022- 2025) in seven districts of Bangladesh, namely Barishal, Bhola, Mymensingh, Gazipur, Dhaka, Narayanganj and Chattogram, KOICA said on Monday. Also read: Dhaka, Tokyo to work together to resolve Rohingya crisisAn Implementation-survey Mission from South Korea visited Bangladesh from April 3 to 11, for designing the proposed project.The main purpose is to empower out-of-school adolescent girls and young women with transferable and market-driven occupational skills and earning.
A total of 339 Bangladeshi workers have left for South Korea since December, 2021. On Wednesday, 98 Bangladeshi workers left for South Korea from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport via chartered flights operated by a Korean air company. It was the second batch of Bangladeshi expatriate workers going to Korea this year after the 92 workers on 5th January. READ: Oman envoy praises Bangladeshi workers for contribution to economic development of Oman According to the Bangladesh Bank, the remittance inflow from the Bangladesh workers in Korea has been continuously increasing in recent years from US$ 80.65 million in FY 2016/17 to US$ 209.16 million in FY 2020/21. The South Korean Government suspended accepting foreign workers in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resumed receiving the expatriates from December 2021. After the resumption, so far, a total of 339 Bangladesh expatriate workers have traveled to Korea; 111 in December 2021, 130 in January, 2022 and 98 in February 2022, said the South Korean Embassy in Dhaka on Wednesday. Originally 108 workers were supposed to depart, but 10 workers who were found COVID-19 positive in the PCR test could not join this time. Among the 98 workers, 34 workers were newly employed while the rest of them, 64 were re-entry workers. Another batch of 130 Bangladesh workers will be sent to Korea in mid-February. South Korea has been admitting medium and low-skilled foreign workers from 16 countries including Bangladesh through the EPS (Employment Permit System) program. Due to the unprecedented and prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, however, the Korean Government suspended receiving EPS workers. Accommodating continuous requests from the sending countries as well as from the employers, the Korean Government decided to lift the suspension from November last year in a limited scope and phased manner with strict COVID-19 protective measures including quarantines. So far, more than 20,000 Bangladesh workers have been dispatched to Korea through the EPS system.
The Ministry of Science and Technology, Bangladesh and the Ministry of Science and ICT, South Korea have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on scientific and technological cooperation between the two countries. South Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh Lee Jang-keun, during a recent meeting with Science and Technology Minister Yeafesh Osman handed over the MoU cross-signed by his Korean counterpart, Minister Lim Heysook. Upon agreement on the text, the MoU signed by Minister Yeafesh was sent to Korea in November last year through a diplomatic channel, said the South Korean Embassy in Dhaka on Sunday. Due to the pandemic situation, both sides could not hold a face-to-face signing ceremony, it said. READ: MoU signed with KL to send Bangladeshi workers to Malaysia The MoU was concluded to strengthen the implementation of the agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation between the two governments signed in May 1995. The MoU stipulates various areas and forms of cooperation including the establishment of a joint committee. On the occasion of the signing, Ambassador Lee said the MoU has laid an important institutional foundation to further promote cooperation in the area of science and technology between the two countries, and expressed his commitment and willingness to this end. READ: MoU signed to establish ‘Sheikh Mujib-Bangladesh Room’ at FAO HQ During the meeting a variety of issues on scientific and technological cooperation were discussed.
The government of the Republic of Korea has donated eight ambulances and 100 units of oxygen generator to the government of Bangladesh to support its efforts for overcoming the corona pandemic and enhancing the country’s capacity in the health sector. The handover ceremony was held on Tuesday at the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) in presence of South Korean Ambassador to Bangladesh Lee Jang-keun, DGHS Director General Prof Abdul Bashar Khurshid Alam and Country Director, KOICA Bangladesh Office Doh Young-Ah and other officials from the DGHS. Read: Bangladesh-S Korea to have more cultural exchanges in future: KM Khalid
The government of South Korea has approved US$ 100 million in concessional loan from Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) to help the recovery of Bangladesh’s economy hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. The new concessional loan of US$ 100 million will be used to implement several projects aimed at advancing public finance management system and improving small and medium-sized businesses struggling from the repercussion of the pandemic. The amount would be released as soon as the loan agreement is signed between the Korea EXIM Bank and the Bangladesh Government which is expected to be done within the year. Also read: Korea promotes young entrepreneurs’ development through business curriculum at universities EDCF is a Korea’s development financing program for assisting the socio-economic development of developing countries. The Republic of Korea has already provided US$ 50 million of EDCF loan as budgetary support in December 2020 to to help Bangladesh’s efforts for fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic. It is the second provision of this type of concessional loan. It will be the first EDCF loan to be implemented under the new EDCF Framework Agreement for the years 2021 through 2025 which was signed between the two Governments on 24 October 2021, said the South Korean Embassy in Dhaka on Monday. Also read: S Korean envoy Lee for diversifying collaboration with Bangladesh According to the agreement, the Korean government will provide up to US$ 700 million of concessional loans to the government of Bangladesh for the five year period. Bangladesh is the second largest recipient of the EDCF loans worldwide in aggregate amount. So far, the Republic of Korea has funded 24 development projects of Bangladesh with total amount of USD$ 1.2 billion US dollars through the EDCF.