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The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has been informed that major challenges for Pakistani workers in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are policy of localisation and imposition of taxes on expatriates and their families as well as reduction in the number of projects. A meeting of the ECC presided over by Finance Minister Asad Umar was informed that Pakistan and other labour exporting countries are facing challenges in relation to export of manpower due to various reasons such as economic slowdown and declining trend of employment for expatriates in the GCC countries.
The meeting was told that other challenges of expatriates are policy of localisation and imposition of taxes on expatriates and their families as well as a reduction in number of projects, major source of employment for Pakistan workers. Such policies include the processes of Saudization and Emiratlization, etc, intended to give priority to local people over expatriates in the job markets. The gap between the demand for specific skills at the international level and those available in the
country is yet another impediment which not only affected the number but also the remuneration of Pakistani expatriates. The meeting was told that to respond to the challenges the recommended steps included: (i) job analysis of the international market; (ii) development of skills of Pakistani labours to match the demands of employers and to improve remuneration for Pakistani expatriates; (iii) collaboration of overseas employment promoters with training institutions like NAVTEC and TEVTA to impart market-based training; (iv) improving soft skills and work-oriented approach to increase the demand for Pakistani manpower; (v) responding to mega events like Expo-2020 UAE and the FIFA World Cup scheduled to be held in Qatar to get maximum share for Pakistanis; (vi) proactive role of community welfare attaches (CWAs) and our missions abroad in different countries to identify job opportunities in manpower importing countries; (vii) and close cooperation with governments of Germany, Japan, Canada and Austria to enhance opportunities for Pakistanis in view of
the potential for employment of expatriates in these countries due to their aging populations.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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