UAE visa ban will ‘end soon’
Published: 2013-01-29 14:52:22.0 BdST Updated: 2013-01-29 14:52:22.0 BdST
The temporary ban on United Arab Emirates (UAE) visa for Bangladeshis will go soon, its visiting Minister for Foreign Trade said on Tuesday, with the amnesty ending on Feb 3.
They offered amnesty for two months from Dec 4 for the expatriates whose visas expired, allowing them either to regularise their papers or leave the country without paying a penalty.
“It’s a central procedure right now and the process is being finalised,” Sheikha Lubna Bint Khaled Al Qasimi told reporters after a meeting with Foreign Minister Dipu Moni at the state guesthouse, Padma.
She said the visa restrictions were not particular to Bangladesh. “This is actually covering several aspects of labourers of different nationalities.”
The UAE enforced a temporary halt in October on issuing visas to Bangladeshis raising ‘security concerns over identification and fake documents.’
The Gulf nation hosts about 1 million Bangladeshi workers, the second highest after Saudi Arabia, and has been an uninterrupted labour market for foreign remittance-dependent Bangladesh, despite the recent global economic recession.
The Foreign Minister said during their meeting they also discussed the visa issue along with other bilateral issues including UAE’s investment opportunities.
“We hoped and we discussed that once the amnesty period is over, normalcy will resume,” she said.
A five-member UAE delegation led by the Minister for Foreign Trade arrived in Dhaka earlier in the day with their investment plans in different sectors including energy and power, infrastructure, agriculture and IT.
Dipu Moni said they were exploring ways as to how and in which sectors they will invest.
“We’ve many opportunities for so many projects here. It’s an open avenue,” the UAE minister said.
She said their talks covered all the aspects of bilateral trade and investment and both of them agreed on a joint economic committee to strengthen the trade ties.
“We’ll work on increasing collaboration between Bangladesh and the UAE,” she said, replying to questions.
Qasimi, however, did not specify whether they have any specific proposal on investment in building a deep-sea port as proposed earlier.
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