Bangladesh to become source of domestic help
More than 4,000 workers have registered interest to come to Hong Kong and many are now being trained to meet city's standards
Hong Kong will soon welcome an influx of domestic helpers from Bangladesh to alleviate the city's labour shortage.
An agency that is helping train domestic workers from Bangladesh said the city was attracting "good" interest, while the Bangladeshi consul general in Hong Kong confirmed some 4,000 people had registered their interest in working in Hong Kong.
Consul General Mohammad Sarwar Mahmood said this figure was reached only one week after the official registration started at the beginning of this month.
The export of maids to Hong Kong "will be beneficial to both sides [Hong Kong and Bangladesh]," Mahmood said. "We have some advantage as our people, because of cultural, social and religious reasons, are much more loyal, obedient and caring as far as domestic work is concerned."
Teresa Liu, who works for an agency that trains the maids, said the recruiting process had been smooth and the first group of 20 domestic workers could arrive in the city as early as this month. "This will alleviate the shortage of domestic workers in Hong Kong," she said. The number of helpers from other countries, such as the Philippines, has shrunk in recent years.
Liu said she expected, once they had finished their training, 2,000 to 3,000 Bangladeshi domestic workers would be ready to take up jobs in Hong Kong from next year. They will earn the statutory minimum wage for domestic workers of HK$3,920 a month.
According to Mahmood, the Hong Kong authorities approached the Bangladeshi government to see if the country could help with its shortage of domestic workers. The Labour Department said maids from Bangladesh had never been barred from working in Hong Kong.
The South Asian country is heavily reliant on the garment industry and has suffered a degree of political turmoil.