Unlocking Diaspora Potential: MoEWOE and IOM Validate Landmark National Policy
Dhaka- An estimated 2.4 million Bangladeshi diaspora from around the world are contributing to communities in Bangladesh and abroad financially as well as through their specialized skills, knowledge, and technical capabilities.
The Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment (MoEWOE) held a validation workshop today in Dhaka to validate the draft National Diaspora Policy of Bangladesh, a landmark policy designed to effectively harness the potential of the Bangladeshi diaspora to support national development. The development of the Policy was supported by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) through the Global Programme on Making Migration Work for Sustainable Development (Phase III), funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
As the Chief guest of the workshop, Imran Ahmad MP, Minister of MoEWOE, stated, "The National Diaspora Policy is a pivotal tool in harnessing the capabilities of our diaspora. Our commitment as a Champion Country for the Global Compact for Migration is to create a conducive environment for our diaspora to contribute significantly to our sustainable development, our diaspora represents not only a vast pool of potential investment but also a source of invaluable skills and knowledge," he added.
Dr. Ahmed Munirus Saleheen, Senior Secretary of MoEWOE presided over the workshop and acknowledged the diaspora's potential engagement in diverse areas beyond remittances. He said, "We view our diaspora as investors, consumers, tourists, public diplomats, and spokespersons for our nation. The National Diaspora Policy aims to provide a comprehensive and strategic approach to engaging them more effectively," he explained.
Members of the Bangladeshi diaspora have the potential to play an instrumental role in national development, contributing to both economic and social dimensions of the countries’ development. Country branding, diaspora diplomacy, trade, diaspora tourism, and the establishment of diaspora networks are vital areas that can benefit significantly with the engagement of diaspora elevating Bangladesh's global standing.
Diaspora engagement has become a central developmental priority for many countries, and multiple global initiatives acknowledge this progress. The growing interest in, and recognition of, diaspora engagement was reflected in the endorsement of the Dublin Declaration, which was adopted at the Global Diaspora Summit 2022, and outlines an agenda of action for global diaspora engagement.
In 2020, IOM conducted a study titled "Ensuring Active Inclusion of Diaspora in Bangladesh's National Development". The study applied a 5-R approach" (Recognition, Respect, Rights, Return and Reintegration, and Resources: Financial and Human) to assess the views of the supply and recommended the need for a diaspora policy.
IOM's Chief of Mission in Bangladesh, Abdusattor Esoev, said, "the diaspora has the unique capacity to contribute to national development. It is crucial to engage, enable, and empower diasporas for development.” “We are honoured to support the Government of Bangladesh in developing this groundbreaking policy. With diaspora engagement fast emerging as a central developmental priority globally, Bangladesh is leading the way with a comprehensive, inclusive policy approach," he stated.