Doha: Qatar University’s Social and Economic Survey Research Institute (SESRI) and Gulf Studies Centre (GSC), in association with the Gulf Labour Markets and Migration Programme, organised a two-day roundtable on ‘Labour Migration in the Arab Gulf Countries’.
The programme is a joint venture of Gulf Research Centre and Migration Policy Centre at European University Institute.
The aim was to discuss key issues of labour markets and migration in the Gulf States for the next two to five years, assess the status of research in terms of topics, quality and usefulness for policy reform and recommend an agenda for the period.
“Discussions are beneficial not only because they help us pinpoint areas of improvement but also build constructive dialogue on ways through which we can examine possible solutions,” said Dr Darwish Al Emadi, Director and QU Associate Vice-President for Research, SESRI.
“SESRI continues to be a leading partner in addressing issues such as labour markets and migration as part of its contribution to national and regional efforts,” he added.
Several representatives from SESRI, GSC and the programme and officials from the Ministry of Labour, Qatar Statistics Authority, Qatar Foundation, Qatar General Secretariat for Development Planning and GCC ministries of labour took part.
“The meeting, which brought together government experts and academics, helped us shed new light on fundamental topics of labour markets and migration,” said Imco Brouwer, Executive Director of the programme.
“Much can be learned by sharing insights and findings and comparing among the GCC countries and between the GCC countries and other countries with large foreign national populations to bring together experts and academics from different professional and disciplinary backgrounds to develop innovative ideas and policies to solve persisting challenges” he said.
Participants showcased their research outcome on labour and migration issues and identified challenges and potential road maps to address them.
Discussions also included strategies for nationalisation of the workforce in Qatar and other GCC countries, as well as the need for evidence-based migration policy.
The meeting also included the introduction of the programme’s website (http://gulfmigration.eu) which addresses issues discussed and engages interaction from interested parties. “It is our hope that such discussions serve as a starting point for further valuable debates on important labour research topics,” said Dr Abdullah Baabood, Director, GSC.