With an aim to raise awareness and encourage the use of legal channels for sending money home among the Bangladeshi expatriates, UAE Exchange, the leading global remittance, Foreign Exchange and payment solutions brand, launched ‘Amar Bangladesh’.
Derived from a Bangla term that literally means “My Bangladesh”, the new social awareness campaign stands out for its message: “Sothik pothey pathai taka, Sochol rakhi desher chaka’’ which means “We send money legally which contributes to the development of my country”.
Supported by the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment of Bangladesh and Embassy of Bangladesh in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the campaign was unveiled on 27 December 2016 amidst a formal gathering in Dusit Thani Hotel, Abu Dhabi. His Excellency Muhammad Imran, Ambassador of Bangladesh to the UAE, was the Guest of Honour.
“Bangladeshis living outside Bangladesh have been a strong pillar of support for the country. UAE Exchange has always supported this hardworking community in transferring their hard-earned money back home. We have pioneered various initiatives to help them stay consistent in sending money through formal channels. Amar Bangladesh is one such initiative. This campaign will enable expatriate Bangladeshis to safeguard their earnings and plan their future better. It also aligns with the noble vision of financial inclusion and nation building spearheaded by the government. We thank the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment of Bangladesh and Embassy of Bangladesh for supporting our endeavour to enhance the convenience and security of expatriate Bangladeshis,” Promoth Manghat, Chief Executive Officer of UAE Exchange Group, said during the inaugural of the campaign.
Jabed Ahmed, Additional Secretary at the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment of Bangladesh said, “We want to encourage our expatriate workers residing in the UAE to safeguard their earnings and use only formal and legal channels when sending money home. This way their participation in the economy will help the Bangladeshi government account for money inflows, contribute to national prosperity, and protect senders and remitters from unreliable middle-men.”
Addressing the media, His Excellency Muhammad Imran, Ambassador of Bangladesh to the UAE said: “We appreciate the efforts of UAE Exchange for taking various initiatives to motivate Bangladeshi expatriates in the UAE to send their hard-earned money to home through official channels. Foreign currencies received through legal channels are used by the Government for various programmes in the fields of health and education to benefit the poor people and also to develop physical infrastructure of the country. At present, Bangladesh is implementing a number of mega-projects from its own resources. If we want to see our economy to grow and become strong, we must opt for legal channels for transferring our hard-earned money.’’
Traditionally, overseas blue-collar workers from Southeast Asia have often taken recourse to ‘Hundi’ or ‘Hawala’, an informal channel of sending money home through middlemen or unauthorised agents, resulting in their exploitation, fraudulent activities and risk to the nation.
But, there are expatriates who have been remitting home regularly through official channels. To motivate such legal remitters, UAE Exchange felicitated three of its Bangladeshi customers residing in the UAE - Mohammed Afzal Hossain, Noor Mohammed and Jaidul Islam - officially at the event with the Remittance Reward [Certificate of Appreciation]. The reward was given in recognition for their [customers] contribution towards strengthening the Bangladeshi economy and for being an inspiration and a role model to their fellow community members by remitting through legal channels for more than ten years.
The first phase of the campaign will focus on Bangladeshi expatriates in the Middle East, particularly in the UAE. It will be extensively broadcasted on Bangladeshi TV channels and social media. On-ground activations will also be held across the seven emirates of the UAE. Over 500,000 booklets advocating the advantages of transferring money legally will be distributed at various organisations, camps and establishments catering to Bangladeshi population.
The unveiling of the campaign also commemorated with Bijoyer Mash, the month [December] of victory, when Bangladeshis united themselves to gain their independence. UAE Exchange too endeavours to make remittance free from informal channels through the ‘Amar Bangladesh’ campaign.