From past few years, the ratio of Pakistani workers going to the gulf countries like Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates has reduced significantly.
The inflow of remittances sent by overseas Pakistanis saw a rapid boost after the year 2002 following post-9/11 developments and due to the increased needs of foreign workers in that region.
Overall, Pakistan hasn’t seen any major setback in remittance flow from the recent decline, however, the exports of manpower saw a significant downfall in countries like Saudi Arabia (KSA) in the first half of 2017.
The rapid decline of Pakistani manpower in the KSA is mainly due to the recently imposed tax of 100 riyals (Rs. 2,800 approx.) per month on each unemployed foreigner living there and cut down on foreign labor.
Moreover, the recent uplift of the ban on women drivers might also affect the large majority of Pakistani drivers working there.
On the other hand, manpower export to UAE saw relatively less decline in 2017 as compared to KSA. But the reports suggest that it might also go down if the UAE government starts crackdown against the investments of around $8 billion in the UAE’s real estate market by Pakistanis.
The officials of exchange companies told the media that, “One reason why UAE’s remittances may not falter too much despite falling manpower export is that part of the inflows are proceeds of the transactions made in Pakistanis’ real estate investment in Dubai.”
In addition to that, the important determinant of remittance flow is the quality of manpower that goes abroad. According to a survey, less than 1,800 Pakistani professionals went abroad for jobs, while more than 201,040 Pakistanis drivers and laborers chose foreign countries for work.
To boost our remittances in the future, we need to export more and more skillful professionals abroad.