Thursday, June 28, 2012

Demand for workers in Gulf rises

Despite the regional political turmoil and the continuing global economic slowdown, demand for foreign workers remains high in the Gulf region, according to a study.
"Despite the political uprisings and civil unrest in some parts of the Middle East and North Africa, the region is still witnessing moderate growth, and in the Gulf countries there is an even stronger imperative to sustain economic growth and meet social needs," stated the study 'The Economic Impact of the Uprisings in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) Region,' sponsored by Western Union, a leader in money transfer and global payment services.
"We expect opportunities for international workers to remain strong and with that remittance flows from host to home countries," said Western Union’s senior vice president for the Middle East and Africa Jean-Claude Farah, adding that the Asia Pacific region has been a significant source of labour for Gulf countries –– led by Nepal, India, Philippines, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Thailand.
"The study should instill greater confidence in global workers seeking employment in these countries," said managing director and senior vice president of Asia Pacific Drina Yue.
The study added that economic forecasts for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are much better that those for the Middle East North Africa region as a whole, and in fact have been positive. The GCC countries comprise of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The study’s lead author Dr Ahmed Farouk Ghoneim, who is a professor of economics at Cairo University, said that real gross domestic production growth in the Gulf Cooperation Council was expected to remain strong despite short-term disturbances, from a base of 3.1 per cent to 20 per cent in 2011.
"The region’s countries have limited exposure to the international financial crisis," said Dr Ghoneim, adding, "In relative terms, the financial crisis and oil and food price increases have had only mild effects on Middle East North Africa economies, owing to their limited integration into the world economy."
"However, Gulf countries did face modest inflationary pressures from increased social spending," he said, "Within the Middle East North Africa region, labour markets are facing different types of problems, but migration and remittance constitute a common cure for high unemployment in some countries of the region and the need for workers to sustain growth in others."

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