CPD Working Paper Series
Contributors: Mustafizur Rahman, Md. Zafar Sadique, Estiaque Bari and Ummah Salma
Publication Period: April 2016
Migration, and the consequent remittance flows, have wide-ranging implications for Bangladesh, particularly in terms of employment generation, foreign exchange reserves and balance of payments, household expenditure, savings and investment, and in general, for the overall development of the country’s economy. However, issues of financial inclusion and social protection of Bangladesh’s migrant workers have continued to remain relatively unaddressed over the past years. This paper examines cross-country experiences covering three areas: (a) reduction of cost of sending remittances; (b) deployment of financial instruments to harness savings of migrant workers; and (c) social protection schemes to secure and safeguard the interests of migrant workers. The paper undertakes a review of the regulatory mechanisms, measures and schemes in place in Bangladesh in the aforesaid three areas; and by drawing on global best practices and experiences, comes up with a number of recommendations to address the relevant challenges. The paper recommends how modern technology could help reduce transaction costs and innovative financial instruments could be deployed to harness savings of migrant workers. The paper also proposes a number of measures towards better social protection of migrant workers in both host countries and in Bangladesh.