Why Do We Still Depend On Them? (An Engineer’s Must-Read Article)

In Bangladesh, excellence in the textile trade is a phenomenon of last Four decades. Since from early 80s the wheel of the industry went on running by helping develop our poverty line as well as largely helping financially the other foreign nationals working here.

Human resources involved in that journey need to be brought under proper investigation and with reasons explained. The total remittance in flowed and the out flowed should have a fine calculation to portrait the factor in this giant industry.


What the statistics does show? Some discrete data provide an opaque sceneries regarding this such as the number of foreign employees is likely to be more than a Quarter million ( 2.5 lac) who took home nearly more than $5 billion in salary and allowances from Bangladesh textile sector- Bangladesh Bank reports. On the contrary, from Bangladesh around 2 million workers are busy in earning from foreign countries only $14 billion in real. So, how can we welcome this discrimination?

This discrimination is adding fuels by unaware sanctions of work permits and their related renewals. From 2009 to till now, more than seven thousands (7030) new work permits were issued according to BOI (Board of investment). This important govt. body is also busy in furthering the report. With the new work permits there added more renewed work permits as well so that numbers are seeming gigantic day by day.

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Renewed permits2907351111671943

The countries from where most of the employees come mainly are India, Sri Lanka, followed by Pakistan, China, South Korea, Taiwan and Philippine.

Question is, why the graph is on upwards? Is our industry not well run by ourselves? Is our own manpower not skilled and expert to that level to discourage foreign entries? Let’s investigate the matter.

Without valid documents, furthermore, there are many foreign nationals who are residing in Bangladesh and they are firstly to be assessed and estimated by Local journalists, sourcing office, liaison office and through other independent sources.

Department of Passport and immigration directly denies responsibility to inform the undocumented migrant workers data which can only permit visas.

To find out exact statistics on foreign workers and professionals the BGMEA demanded reports from their 5000 member factories and so far we know only 233 factories have replied with reports asked and they said in the report that in garments sector there is a shortage of skilled manpower for important post like merchandising, production and designs.

Reason for foreign professional entries:
In the last few decades, many foreign company became investing partner in Bangladesh and they possess a right to enjoy their nationals to recruit in their offshore offices and it opens a scope to expand the undocumented foreign employee entries. In weaving, Knitting, dyeing, finishing, printing and washing plant they are seen strongly appointed. They are also found working in Supply chain and marketing.

In late 80s, Some Korean Multipurpose companies had moved their plants In Dhaka and consequently they preferred their own nationals to come in our country. In 80s, 100% fabrics and accessories were imported from India, China, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Japan and Turkey. But now a days we have enough resources to continue production with our own manpower but matter of sorrow is that still we are dependent on them blindly and the owner side prefer them for some certain illogical reasons.
The manufacturers keeps an idea that in textile and RMG sector- compared to our native employees foreign nationals don’t need to attend family and social burdens and so that they are thought to be more working and the owners are fascinated and convinced by them easily.

Being provided with scopes, those foreign professionals prefer their own native and unskilled workers to come in Bangladesh which greatly discourage our native professional’s entry.

For inbuilt colonized mentality the floor people pay more heed to foreign bosses than locals. And this attracted the owners. But in actual scenario the manufacturing speed is lower for unknown reasons. Owners are actually trapped and misled by those foreign professionals as they have formed a community of their own and gradually they have turned as a critical threat to the owners to leave factory in a group. And consequently some illogical substitute has been made by the owner management.

By placing a complaint against our native textile engineers that they use to jump rapidly in their jobs to set high quick salary, the foreign nationals are hired and employed in this logic. But it has an explanation and true cause to show. If the native engineers are smartly and duly paid in their profession then this scenario could have got a entire change.

Fluency in English is important in this trade but it doesn’t necessarily mean that we are far lag behind in this. Recently a study shows that this English comprehensive complex is much improved and a good number of native English speaker employees are available. Sometimes we find much better speaker than so called foreign employees in important posts. On the other hand foreign employees are non-comprehensive due to their ridiculous English accent and gesture.

Factories and buying house now a days are experiencing smart and quality speaker engineer’s .So, why still we are preferring the foreign professionals in our industry?

As BGMEA and BKMEA etc. till now cannot find a social welfare plan such as provident fund, gratuity etc. for the native skilled top and mid-level managements employee and as a result they always feel an insecurity and uncertainty of job where foreign entries are quite a threat to them.

To find out exact number of foreign nationals working in the sector BOI (Board of Investment) and other related authorities should come forward to detect the unexperienced foreign professional entities.
To meet income tax should be made compulsory for all foreign nationalities so that they may be discouraged to join here.

Textile Engineering and technology schools should introduce and update their syllabus with contemporary edition of topics and terms so that more skilled and sound professionals will be available to replace foreign dependency.

Our textile education system should be aided by the top most manufacturers of Bangladesh so that universities can provide students with pragmatic solution from factories. Simultaneously the universities can avail scholarship, funds from industry owners and the industry authority can be provided with innovative solution of their existing problems. It can be a mutual welfare action.

Time is almost up. The scene needs to be changed in the industry shortly. The young optimistic textile engineering generation is coming towards solving this hugely termed issue of replacing foreign professionals. By capturing adequate knowledge on several departments only we can be able to kick them away and save our lion part of outflows. So come forward and let’s make ourselves fit enough to fight them and make them say good bye from this green and developing land.

Mosabbir AhmedB.Sc 1st Batch ( Roll-2007/96)Noakhali Textile Englineering College

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