Pakistan is the world’s sixth most populous country and the second-largest manpower/labor exporting country in South Asia. Overseas migrant workers are Pakistan’s most essential asset, and their significant remittances contribute significantly to the country’s socio-economic growth
From 1971 to 2019, the Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment (BE&OE) reported over 11.11 million emigrants through its seven regional offices known as the Protectorate of Emigrants. More than 96 percent of Pakistani employees are concentrated in GCC countries, especially Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
BE&OE enrolled Pakistanis for overseas jobs. The year 2016 was the second-best, with 839,353 emigrants registering for jobs abroad, including an 11.3 percent decrease from the previous year. Later, a significant decrease in manpower export was observed in the years 2017 and 2018, when 496,286 and 382,439 Pakistanis were reported for overseas jobs, respectively. The key reason for this downward trend was low oil prices, which triggered a recession in major manpower recipient countries, including Gulf economies that depend heavily on oil sector profits. Furthermore, the rise in oil prices in 2019 helped the gulf economies, opening up job prospects for expatriate workers, resulting in a more than 63 percent increase in 2019. Aside from that, a big factor for the growth in manpower export was the incumbent government’s particular emphasis and concentration on overseas migrant jobs.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister has voiced his views on overseas Pakistani jobs on several occasions. The active diplomatic policy of the Government of Pakistan with foreign countries, especially the Gulf Countries, has resulted in an increase in manpower export to these countries, particularly Saudi Arabia.