New Delhi [India], December 3 (ANI): In bilateral consultations held recently, India and Portugal reviewed the mechanisms between Portuguese and Indian institutions responsible for facilitating international migration, and discussed advances in implementing the recently signed Bilateral Labour Mobility Agreement between the two countries.
The discussion, which was organised by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM-UN Migration) and the national offices of Portugal and India, took place on November 29, saw participation of a Portuguese delegation comprising representatives of various public and private sector partners.
Between November 28 and December 2, IOM India and IOM Portugal carried out a scoping mission in New Delhi with an initiative to focus primarily on the labour demands in the agricultural and hospitality sectors, aims to formulate a framework for subsequent labour migration schemes for Portugal, fostering safe and regular migration pathways for Indian workers, an official release stated, adding that the meeting addressed the multidimensional aspects of international migration and development and identified appropriate ways to maximize its development benefits.
Sharing his views, Anurag Bhushan, Joint Secretary, Overseas Indian Affairs-1, Ministry of External Affairs, said, "India has long been an important player in the international mobility of skilled professionals and students. It is one of the most sought-after source countries for highly skilled workers. The growing specialization of global labour markets means that as new industries and service activities emerge within the "new economy", so will the need to source skills quickly and efficiently to allow for the development and expansion of cutting-edge sectors in the open labour market."
The Portuguese delegation comprised representatives of the Portuguese Institute for Employment and Vocational Training (IEFP. I.P), the Algarve Tourism Region, the Association of Horticulturists, Floriculturists and Horticulturists of the Municipalities of Odemira and Aljezur (AHSA) and a representative from the private sector (Driscoll's).
Together with IOM India, the delegation conducted successful meetings with the Portuguese embassy, the Ministry of External Affairs, the Protector General of Emigrants, the Skills Development and Technical Education Representative of the Punjab government, the Confederation of Indian Industries, Tourism and Hospitality Skill Council, the Agricultural Skills Council and recruitment agencies represented by the Indian Personnel Export Promotion Council.
Speaking on the bilateral dialogue, Sanjay Awasthi, head of office, IOM India, said, "It's important for us to ensure an ecosystem for safe, orderly collectively and regular migration of Indian skilled professionals and students wherein the aspiring migrants have access to critical information, advice, and support at all stages of the migration process. IOM is committed to facilitating the development of policies and programmes in the interest of migrants and society, providing effective protection and assistance to migrants and their families."
According to official statistics, the population of Indian citizens in Portugal is currently around 30,251. They are predominantly from Punjab (especially from Chandigarh, Amritsar, and Jalandhar). Most migrant workers from India are primarily engaged in the agriculture sector.
"This visit reinforces our understanding that there is interest from the Portuguese agricultural and tourism sectors in working with India to recruit Indian workers. IOM Portugal hopes that the recently signed agreement between the two countries for the recruitment of Indian citizens can reinforce safe and regular mobility between the two countries, underpinned by ethical recruitment principles", the Head of Office from IOM Portugal, Vasco Malta, said.
IOM-UN Migration is committed to promoting a multi-stakeholder approach to migration management. It works with its partners to increase the benefits of migration for all stakeholders-countries of origin, countries of destination and migrants, with the goal of "leaving no migrant behind".
This project is co-financed by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service and IEFP.I.P, the press release stated. (ANI)