ISLAMABAD: Beating other regional players like Bangladesh and India in manpower export, Pakistan has emerged as ‘Manpower Export Leader’ in the region by sending around 224,705 workers to various countries for various job assignments in 2020, despite the coronavirus pandemic. Bangladesh sent 217,699 workers abroad and India 94,145 for employment purposes during the same period, said the OPHRD ministry while making the comparison in a tweet. Adding to the tweet, it said, “Pakistan becomes a ‘Manpower Export Leader’ in the region despite the pandemic, leaving behind India and Bangladesh in the export of manpower in 2020.” According to the Economic Survey of Pakistan, launched by the government last week, over 11.43 million Pakistanis had gone abroad for employment in more than 50 countries. It said the migration of Pakistani workers was mostly concentrated to Gulf Cooperation Council countries (96 percent), with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates hosting the majority. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, overall, a declining trend was observed in terms of emigrants registered in 2020, including GCC countries, it mentioned, adding Saudi Arabia (KSA) was the main destination for the Pakistani workforce where more than 60 percent of emigrants proceeded followed by UAE (24 percent) and Oman (4.6percent). Out of the total, the OPHRD ministry sent 136,339 people to the KSA, 53,676 to the UAE, 10,336 to Oman, and many other countries during 2020. The Survey said the ministry was striving to boost the export of Pakistani manpower by exploring new job markets in the world. “A comprehensive diversification strategy has been developed for top five priority countries including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Malaysia, Qatar, and Oman along with other five potential countries such as Kuwait, South Korea, Japan, Germany, and China to promote the export of manpower to these countries,” it added. It expounded the OPHRD’s major initiatives to export manpower to South Korea, Japan, and other countries.