Pakistan is the 6th largest country of the world in terms of population and 2nd largest manpower/labour exporting country of South Asia. Overseas migrant workers are the biggest asset of Pakistan and they are playing a vital role in the Socio Economic development of Pakistan through their valuable remittances. Since 1971 till 2019, more than 11.11 million emigrants have been registered by Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment (BE&OE) through its seven regional offices called Protectorate of Emigrants. Out of total, more than 96% concentration of Pakistani workforce is towards GCC countries particularly Saudi Arabia and UAE.During the entire emigration history of Pakistan, year 2015 witnessed the highest numbers when 946,571
Pakistanis were registered by BE&OE for overseas employment. Year 2016 was the second highest year when 839,353 emigrants were registered for employment abroad, though there was a 11.3% decline as compared to year 2015. Later on major decline in export of manpower was seen during years 2017 and 2018 when 496,286 and 382,439 Pakistanis were registered for overseas
employment, respectively. Major reason behind this downward trend was low oil prices which caused slowdown of major manpower recipient countries i.e. Gulf economies who are reliant on oil sector income mainly. Moreover, increase in oil prices in year 2019 positively affected the gulf economies which opened up employment opportunities for expatriate workers and resultantly an increase of more than 63% has been witnessed during 2019. Apart from that, major reason in increase of manpower export was the special attention and focus of incumbent government towards overseas migrant workers. Prime Minister of Pakistan has several times expressed his vision towards overseas Pakistani workers. The successful diplomatic policy of Government of Pakistan with foreign countries especially the Gulf Countries showed positive results in enhancement of manpower export to these countries particularly KSA.
Overseas Jobs Potential
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is the largest destination country for Pakistan manpower export. Over 50% of the total migrant workers proceed to Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Government has launched some mega projects of billions of US dollars including ‘New Taif City’, ‘Neom city project ‘.Moreover 30 million pilgrims annually are expected to proceed to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which may create job opportunities in Hospitality & Services sectors and ‘Restart of Makkah Haram Project’ where a large scope for Pakistani workers exists. The detail of other major projects where expat workers can get employment opportunities are given below;
- The Red Sea Project
- Qiddiya entertainment city
- Jean Nouvel’s Sharaan resort in Al-Ula
- Makkah Grand Mosque – Third Expansion
- Jeddah Tower
- Ministry of Housing’s Sakani homes
- Jabal Omar
- Al Widyan
- Riyadh Metro
- Riyadh Rapid Bus Transit System
- King Fahd Medical City Expansion
- King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Medical Complexes
- King Salman Energy Park (Spark)
- Saudi Aramco’s Berri and Marjan
- Hanergy solar park
- Dumat Al Jandal wind power plant
- Saudi Aramco-Total’s PIB factory
- Pan-Asia bottling facility
United Arab Emirates
UAE is second largest destination country for Pakistani workers after KSA where more than 3.86 million Pakistanis registered with BE&OE for employment. The labor market of UAE is more open and advanced for expats as compared to other GCC countries. There is high demand of qualified professionals in the sectors such as IT, Civil engineering, financial management sector, healthcare hospitality, tourism and services sector etc. There is 0.3 million potential in Dubai Expo 2020 event. The major development projects of UAE are,
- Bluewater Island.
- MBR City
- Deira Islands
- Al Habtoor City
- Aladdin City
- Dubai Creek Harbour
The Sultanate of Oman is the third largest importer of Pakistani manpower after Saudi Arabia and UAE. The sectors such as Oil & Gas, Power, Construction, Information Technology, Travel & Tourism and Logistics etc. are in demand sectors for expat workers. The major development projects of Oman are Blue City (Al Madina A’Zarqa) Project, Oman Rail, Oman Khazzan Gas Project, Madinat Al Irfan, Duqm Refinery &Petrochemical Complex, Sohar Industrial Estate, Al Khuwair Hotel
Apartments and Safeer Hotel Suites etc. These projects would require a large number of skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled manpower.
Qatar is a potential country for the manpower sending countries as the world biggest event i.e Football World Cup is scheduled to be held in Qatar in 2022. Pakistan is in active liaison with Qatar to grasp opportunities for export of manpower from Pakistan for the projects/sectors like FIFA World cup 2022(potential of two million jobs) and other sectors i.e. Tourism, Hoteling, Ports & Shipping and Security Services , Construction, Medical Services, Oil & Gas, Information Technology.
Bahrain is one of the important members of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and appealing destination for expatriate workers. Petroleum production is most exported product, accounting for 60% of export receipts, 70% of government revenues, and 11% of GDP. The major development projects of Bahrain are,
New Industrial City in Bahrain
New Bahrain International Airport
The Bahrain Metro Project
Durrat Al Bahrain
Malaysia is an important country for export of manpower. Malaysia intends to hire a large number of Security Guards. Nepal was the only source of supplying Security Guards to Malaysia. Apart from that, construction sector is expected to grow by 3.7 per cent in 2020, backed by the acceleration and revival of mega projects. According to the Economic Outlook 2020 report, investments in mega infrastructure works, such as the East Coast Rail Link, the Light Rail Transit 3, Mass Rail Transit 2, Electrified Double Track Gemas-Johor Bahru, Klang Valley Double Track Phase 2 , Central Spine Road, Pan Borneo Highway and Coastal Highway in Sarawak, are expected to boost the civil engineering segment.
Japan is the third largest and high-tech economy of the world having developed infrastructure of manufacturing, automobile, IT, telecommunication, ship building, steel sector/industry etc. Government of Japan has introduced a new policy on Economic and Fiscal Management Reform, which may create around 345,000 employment opportunities for foreign workers by 2025 in 14 different sectors such as
construction, agriculture, lodging, nursing care, ship-building and manufacturing. The detail of in demand job sectors of japan can be obtained from Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment’s website link https://beoe.gov.pk/news-updates/530.
Germany is one of the largest economy of Europe having the highest labour productivity. There is great potential for foreign workers in Germany due to its huge economic size and low population growth. Small and medium sized industries are playing leading role in the German economy where expat workers have more chances of recruitment. Engineering, information technology, healthcare services, automobile energy and environmental science etc are in-demand Sectors in Germany.
The economy of Canada is highly developed and ranked 10th largest in terms of GDP. Canada also has sizable manufacturing sector, based in Central Canada, with automobile and aircraft industry being especially important. Top in demand job categories include, electricians, welders, mechanics salesman, drivers technicians, engineers, IT experts, office support staff, healthcare and education professionals. Canada is one of the global leaders of the entertainment software industry. Pakistan has potential to provide the manpower in above mentioned trades in order to capture the Canadian job market.
Other Manpower Potential Countries:
The countries such as Austria, Romania, Poland, Denmark and South Korea etc. are the potential countries where intending emigrants can get employment opportunities. Government of Pakistan is making every possible effort to grasp the job opportunities for Pakistani workforce.