Around 860 irregular Bangladeshi migrants are going to return from Germany as part of a process of repatriation of illegal immigrants from Europe.
"Some expatriates are staying in Europe illegally and a few of them will return to Bangladesh soon," said Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Thursday.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the number of Bangladeshis was the highest among the people who took risky journeys to cross the Mediterranean Sea and land routes to reach Europe in the first six months of the ongoing year. The country was in the fourth position a year ago.
As per a UNHCR estimate, from January to June this year, the number of Bangladeshi nationals reaching Europe through the illegal routes was 3,332, which is 14.5% of the total aspirant migrants to Europe.
Earlier, in 2018, Bangladesh and the European Union (EU) signed an agreement over a Standard Operating Procedure to bring back the Bangladeshis staying in Europe illegally.
New opportunities in Romania, Serbia
The foreign minister said the government wants to expand the labour market to Romania and Serbia. The two European countries are also interested in taking manpower from Bangladesh.
"Romania currently needs about 40,000 workers as most of its citizens are migrating to other European countries. They need skilled workers in the ICT, construction, and energy sectors," the foreign minister said.
He recently visited Romania and Serbia as Bangladesh is searching for new destinations to expand its labour market, mainly in Europe, as the major labour market in the Middle East has shrunk in the last few years.
Dr Momen said around 1,000 Bangladeshis have already got jobs in Romania, but some 300 workers are facing complications with the visa.
Earlier this month, Dr Momen went to Serbia and Romania on a two-day official visit to attend several bilateral meetings.