Diplomatic Correspondent: The South Korean government plans to receive 10,000 Bangladeshi expatriate workers this year.
Outgoing Korean Ambassador Lee Jang-keun made the disclosure while paying a farewell call to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the Ganabhaban yesterday.
While only around 1,500 Bangladeshi workers were dispatched to Korea under the Employment Permit System (EPS) until 2021, the number increased significantly to 5,891 in 2022, he noted.
“Expatriate workers are the other arena where we have seen meaningful development over one or two years,” he added. The Korean government has decided to give Bangladesh $3 billion under the soft loan programme Economic Development Cooperation Fund in the period of 2023 and 2027
Korea’s previous commitment stood at $500 million for three years when Ambassador Lee arrived in Bangladesh in June 2020.
He also said Korea became the largest foreign direct investor in Bangladesh in the year 2022 with a gross volume of $662 million. He explained that the trade between Korea and Bangladesh crossed the $3 billion mark in 2022 and $2 billion in 2021 for the first time, which was stagnant at around $1.5-1.8 billion over a decade before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ambassador Lee shared with prime minister the recent milestone development in relations between Korea and Bangladesh in multiple areas such as trade, official development assistance, expatriate workers and investment in the year of 50 th anniversary of Korea-Bangladesh diplomatic ties in 2023.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina congratulated the successful completion of his tenure in Bangladesh and thanked Ambassador Lee for his efforts to boost Korea-Bangladesh relations further.
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