Bangladesh and Poland on Saturday agreed to establish a Joint Working Group for migration of skilled workers and maritime economy.

The agreement came during meetings of State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam and Polish Minister for Family, Labour and Social Welfare Mrs. Elzbieta Rafalska and Deputy Minister for Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation Grzegorz Witkowski respectively.

During the meetings, they discussed various issues of bilateral cooperation with especial focus on migration of Bangladeshi skilled workforce and Polish cooperation in blue economy, according to a message received here this evening from Poland.

The Polish Minister for Family, Labour and Social Welfare Mrs.ElzbietaRafalska mentioned that Poland is now passing best of the economic development phase with low rate of unemployment and higher economic growth.

Identifying ageing population as well as migration of skilled Polish workers to Germany, UK and other developed economies of EU as a major challenge for the Polish economy, she said her government is currently offering financial incentives for more children.

She informed that some one million Ukrainian migrant workers are now working in Poland. “The trend is upward for absorption of more workers, as per the assessment of World Bank,” she added.

She said with the continued raise in living standards, Poland will increasingly become an attractive destination for immigrants, especially those coming from non-EU countries.

In reply, Shahriar Alam appreciated the Polish government’s efforts in revitalization of the economy and offered to send skilled Bangladeshi workforce to fill the skills gap that exists in Poland.

The Polish Minister informed that her office issued 760 work permits to interested Bangladeshi skilled workers last year and they are open to discuss further scope for collaboration in that regard.

In that context, State Minister Alam proposed to establish a Joint Study Group to explore mutually beneficial cooperation in orderly migration of skilled workers, which the Polish minister immediately agreed.

Minister Alam further raised the issue of difficulty in obtaining visas by Bangladeshi citizens from the Polish Embassy in New Delhi. The Polish Minister assured to take up the matter with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for practical solutions.

Later, the Bangladesh State Minister for Foreign Affairs had a separate meeting with the Polish Deputy Minister for Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation Mr.Grzegorz Witkowski.

During the meeting, the Polish minister expressed keen interest for entering into bilateral cooperation in the areas of seaports, shipbuilding, marine science as well as fish processing.

The Polish side also showed interest to enter into MoU for cooperation between ports of the two countries.

In response, Shahriar Alam proposed to establish a Joint Working group to identify all possible areas of cooperation in the promising blue economy sector so that both side may consider entering into MoU on Framework Cooperation in maritime economy/sector in the future.

The Polish side agreed to the proposal, the message also said.