Issued by the General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners Affairs-Dubai
GDRFA-Dubai launches customer happiness index
Smart choice for a smart living GDRFAD’s mobile application enables: Individuals:
• On arrival visa extension. • Dashboard with all entry permits and residency
applications that are in progress, active, expiring soon or have expired. • Generate barcode to enter smart gate at Dubai Airports. • New and renew sponsored residencies (citizens). • New and renew residency (wife & children). • Attaching required documents. New update: • New entry permit for assistant categories (citizens) • Family passport renewal bouquet (citizens). • Renew passport (citizens only). • MYID
Establishments: • • • •
Extending entry permits (tourist visas). Work entry permit renewal. Before arrival – entry permit cancellation. Printing of Ministry of Labor’s permits. New update: • Dashboard with all entry permits & residences overstays and the ones expiring within 30 days.
• • • • • •
Payment gateway. Visa inquiry. News and activities. Amer Car services. User guide. Branches with location maps and contact details. • Multimedia section. • Contact Director General
Mobile application is available on all app stores. Search for: GDRFA Dubai or simply scan the QR code
• Toll free: 8005111
Visionary leadership before Big Data G overnments, companies and individuals
all over the world race towards getting insights into economic indicators like GDP, inflation, unemployment and trade deficits to formulate strategies. Despite the paramount importance of economic indicators, a true picture is not possible unless we take into account the role and contribution of the visionary political leadership in the developmental drive and reforms. This has been thoroughly reflected by the GDRFA-Dubai during its participation in GITEX-2014 where it showcased how it is translating into reality the vision and instructions of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, about the Smart Government and for providing smart services to millions of customers 24/7. The vision and guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed will go down in the history as being the light house that showed us the way towards developing new services that were revealed during the GITEX-2014, including the first robot which will enable the public to connect with us instantly and Amr car which moves around the airport premises allowing our officers to finish the travel procedures for the transit passengers. What has been revealed till now is a proverbial small drop in the ocean. In line with our aspirations, we are harnessing technology to provide fast
and smart services that can be available by people anytime and from anywhere through channels that suits their needs. Our services are in line with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed’s vision about the smart government whose top priority is to make people happy. The world is talking big about the Big Data and its role in changing the pace and quality of our lives. This change is possible only when the visionary leadership leads the drive, opens closed doors, energizes people, and allocates resources and follow-up on the progress minute by minute.
Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri Director General GDRFA-Dubai
|Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ | 1
October 1971 Pursuant to an order promulgated by the then Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, two departments were established: Central Immigration Department and Ports and Borders Department
October 1972 The two departments were merged with the UAE’s Ministry of Interior and Federal Law No. 17 concerning the naturalization and passports was promulgated.
1973 Federal Law No. (6) concerning Immigration and Residency was promulgated as the first law regulating the entry and residency of expatriates in United Arab Emirates.
1977 The two departments were merged and the new Department shifted to a building in the ministries complex
1982 The Administration shifted to the present building during the tenure of Colonel Mohammad Al-Ghaith
2003 The building was completely refurbished during the tenure of Brigadier General Saeed Bin Belaila
1999 Naturalization and Residency Administration, Dubai, established a branch at Hatta Fort
1995 Jebel Ali Port branch was inaugurated
2 |Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ |
Our Vision The UAE to become one the safest and most secure countries in the world.
Our Mission To work efficiently and effectively to enhance the quality of life for UAE society through security, transit, rehabilitation, residency services and secure the safety of lives and property.
Our Values Justice t Work with team spirit t Excellence t Good cooperation t t Integrity t Loyalty Social responsibility t
Strategic objectives t Strengthening of security and safety t Ensure readiness and preparedness in disasters and crises t Enhancing public confidence in the effectiveness of the provided services t The optimal use of security information t Secure the provision of all administrative services in accordance with standards of quality, efficiency and transparency
To communicate with GDRFA: Location: Aljaffilya - Bur Dubai PO Box : UAE – Dubai 4333 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Toll Free Number: 04 3139999 - 8005111 Working Hours: 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM GDRFA-Dubai http:// www.dnrd.ae Dubai Airport Freezone http://www.dafz.ae Dubai Public Prosecution http://www.dxbpp.gov.ae Dubai Municipality https://www.dm.gov.ae
Department of Economic Development http://www.dubaided.gov.ae Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing http://www.dubaitourism.ae Land and Property Department http://www.dubailand.gov.ae
GDRFA News GDRFA Photographes by: Abdulrahman Abdullah Sanjeev Kochan
GDRFA unveils new smart services at GITEX-2014
Monthly newsletter issued by GDRFA-Dubai
P4 GDRFA-Dubai and DPP deal for electronic linkage
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Middle East News New entry rules for expats at Oman airports
KSA suspends labour visas to Ebola-hit countries
Honorary President Major General Mohammed Ahmed Almarri Director General
General Supervision Major General Obaid Muhair Bin Suroor Deputy Director General
General Coordinator Captain Khalid Al Rahma Editorial Consultant Ghassan Suleiman Creative Manager Mohammed Al Jarouf Executive Editor Mohammed Abdul Mannan
International News Foreign population reaches all-time high in Korea
Strategic Technology Partner of GDRFA-Dubai
Remittances to developing countries rise
Eurozone The dynamics of migration
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GDRFA-Dubai launches customer happiness index
General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) has unveiled two new smart services at the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (Gitex-2014), thereby bringing its total number of smart services provided to customers to 40. The GDRRA also launched a customer happiness index to measure the their satisfaction level with its services. The General Directorate has installed devices at the Dubai International Airport Terminal 3 which enables customers to share
4 4 |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai|November |November٢٠١٤ ٢٠١٤||
their satisfaction and dissatisfaction at three levels with the services and performance of staff. The customers after signing for the index gets the option of selecting the satisfaction levels. The new initiative is under a trial for three months after which it will be developed further for installation at the two international airports and ports of entry in the emirate. The system allows the GDRFA-Dubai to generate daily and monthly reports to analyze the quality of and satisfaction with the services provided to the customers.
The 33rd edition of the world’s third biggest ICT show in Dubai from October 12 to 16 attracted 3700 exhibitors from 60 countries and over 100000 visitors. GDRFA-Dubai’s participation was the biggest this year in terms of exhibition space and uniqueness of the technologically-advanced services designed for the customers. Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General of GDRFA-Dubai, disclosed that the first-of-its-kind smart gates that facilitate passengers check-in within a few minutes
will be deployed at the Dubai International Airport. These smart gates capture the eye prints of travelers without them having to stand up in front of the cameras. The new smart gates are very accurate and leave no room for errors even if the travellers are wearing contact lenses or underwent eye surgery. The smart gates underwent thorough trial and testing with amazing results in terms of efficiency and accuracy. Major General Al Marri disclosed that the new version of self-service Amr kiosks which print visa forms for individuals and companies were
launched. The kiosks can carry out up to 1000 transactions daily and shortens the time needed to execute the transaction by 15 minutes and also eliminates the need for deployment of 10 employees for completion of the transactions. On an average, 50 visa forms are issued daily to the companies. The official said GDRFA-Dubai will deploy the Next Generation of systems and applications as part of the UAE Vision project which would bring about a quantum leap in the services provided to the customers. Major General Al Marri said the smart robot, launched during GITEX-2014, was a unique mo-
bile walking device that will be deployed in the GDRFA-Dubai branches as well as the Dubai International Airport to answer the public queries about GDRFA-Dubai services. The smart device has a built-in video conferencing feature that enable customers to connect with the GDRFA-Dubai remotely through audio and video instantly. He said an overwhelming 98 per cent of customers expressed their satisfaction with the services offered by the GDRFA-Dubai in a Customer Satisfaction Survey conducted by it during the GITEX-2013. The GDRFA-Dubai intends to raise the satisfaction level to 100 per cent this year.
|Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ | 5
GDRFA-Dubai honours officers for stopping infiltrators
T he General Directorate of Residen-
cy and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) has honoured two of its passport officers who foiled the smuggling of five people through the Hatta border post. Major General Mohammed Al Marri, Director General of GDRFA-Dubai,
felicitated Lieutenant Saleem Hamad Salim Al Ketbi and the warrant officer Abdullah Khamis Al Dahmani, who foiled the infiltration attempt. It is reported that an unidentified national of a Gulf country attempted to smuggle four Asian men and a woman in the trunk of his car into
the UAE through the Hatta border point. The Gulf national tried to escape but was caught by the officials. Major General Al Marri said the officers performed the sacred duty of protecting the country and making its borders safe and secure. Entering the UAE borders illegally is a punishable crime.
GDRFA-Dubai to launch new initiative to benefit from new ideas a unique initiative of its kind, the I nGeneral Directorate of Residency
and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) has plans to reach out to the public for new ideas and suggestions which could help them in improving its portfolio of services and introduction of new services. A special committee which will include the Director General of GDRFA-Dubai or his deputy will be formed to oversee the project. Extra-ordinary ideas and sugges-
6 |Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ |
tions will be taken up instantly for implementation in line with the GDRFA-Dubai’s commitment to development and innovation.
and partners to participate in the initiative which will provide a good opportunity to put across good suggestions and ideas.
Major General Mohammed Al Marri, Director General of GDRFA-Dubai, said the initiative will bring about a quantum leap in the portfolio and quality of services along with encouraging innovation related to the GDRFA-Dubai work and to make people happy with its services. He called upon the GDRFA-Dubai customers, employees
Interested individuals can reach the GDRFA-Dubai by contacting the Suggestions Department at GDRFA-Dubai or the call centre on 800 5111. GDRFA-Dubai is expected to fix a date for the launch of the initiative and the procedures will be followed by specialized committee for accepting the ideas and suggestions.
GDRFA-Dubai and DPP deal for electronic linkage
GDRFA customer service centre opens at Dubai airport
T he General Directorate of Resi-
dency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) and Dubai Public Prosecution (DPP) have signed a strategic partnership deal for the first phase of electronic linkage for referrals to Naturalisation and Residency cases. The partnership was announced during the Gitex-2014 which saw the participation of both GDRFA-Dubai and DPP. His Excellency Essam Essa Al Humaidan, Attorney General
of Dubai and Major General Mohammed Al Marri, Director General of GDRFA-Dubai, signed the agreement at a ceremony attended among others by Khalifa Rashid Bin Dimas Al Suwaidi, the first attorneygeneral at DPP. The electronic linkage will be of immense help for both the entities in terms of saving time, ensuring accuracy, streamlining procedures and improving services provided to the customers.
Abdulla Ahli, Director General of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), and Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai), have formally opened a GDRFA customer service center in Terminal 3 at the Dubai International Airport. The centre provides all the services to customers 24/7. The customer centre comes in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai and directives of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of DCAA and Chairman of Dubai Airports, for taking the customer service levels a few notches up and apply global best practices for customer satisfaction.
GDRFA smart services accessible by mobile phones C aptain
Khalid Ahmed Al Falasi, Acting Assistant Director General for Smart Services Sector at GDRFA-Dubai, has disclosed that all GDRFA-Dubai smart services were accessible through the mobile phones from anywhere in the world. He said Amr smart services include smart TV, smart interactive device, smart forms and virtual management that allow companies to intro-
duce their transactions and get the required visas quickly. The Amr services include Amr car which is a mobile GDRFA office providing several services including issuance and renewal of entry permits, rectification and renewal of residency status, renewal of company cards, cancellation services, eGate payments, and issuance and renewal of eGates cards.
The new version of Amr car is powered by electricity and it can move around different sections of the airport to serve the transit passengers in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to ease the procedures for transit travelers and to lure them to visit Dubai during their free time while in transit. |Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ | 7
GDRFA-Dubai Customer Centre at Dubai International completes 1.3 million transactions T he
Customer Service Centre of General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) at the Dubai International Airport has completed 1.3 million transactions in the past 10 months. The transactions included residency and visa status rectification, entry permits, renewal of UAE passports, investigation and follow-up on over-stayers, in addition to smart gates transactions. Major General Mohammed Al Marri, Director General of GDRFA-Dubai, said the Customer Service Centre was the number one in the country in providing various services 24/7. He said the reason behind the opening of the centre, which is 26th operated by GDRFA-Dubai, was to provide services to travellers by eliminating the need to visit to the GDRFA-Dubai headquarters to renew passports of UAE citizens and obtain entry permits.
He said new devices have been placed to measure the passengers’ satisfaction with its services and to gauge employees’ performance at Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport. The device captures data at three levels to measure the satisfaction of travellers according to the services provided to them. The
service, he said, was being tried on experimental basis for three months after which it will be deployed at both the airports and all the entry and exit points. The device generates daily and monthly reports that enables GDRFADubai develop its services suitably. Between 4000 and 5000 transactions are carried out at the centre.
GDRFA-Dubai solves 83 per cent of labour disputes T he
General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai) has since the beginning of this year settled 1522 labour
8 |Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ |
disputes, out of the total 1830 recorded cases. Quoting GDRFA-Dubai Deputy Director General, Major General Obaid Mohair bin Suroor, a report
in The Gulf Today said out of the total 1830 labour disputes, only 70 cases were transferred to the courts of law, while 41 others are still pending.
Formulating border control policies I have spent the past three weeks, shuttling
between Warsaw, Montreal, New York and London, to be a moderator and guest speaker and to represent my beloved country in international meetings that are drawing border control policies, not just to enhance security but also to accelerate travellers movement and pave the way for absorbing the anticipated tremendous growth in the number of travellers. I was filled with joy when it emerged that the UAE is the only Arab country at those meetings and actively participated in formulating the future roadmap for the global border control industry and we took the opportunity to successfully put across the region’s point of view to the world community. Undoubtedly, our participation in these global meetings where crucial issues were debated and recommendations made – to be transformed into international rules and regulations later –will help ensure that those regulations do not contradicts with the local laws and regulations and are not counterproductive to our national interest and moral and civilizational commitment. The meetings I participated include the working group on border control and passenger facilitation under the aegis of IATA and a meeting of the member countries of the Edison system for travel document examination. These meetings provided us good insights into the trends and developments sweeping the domains of border control and document fraud prevention.
I felt elated at these meetings when the UAE was praised and recognized for its progress and development in the field of managing borders effectively and efficiently and its transformation from being an expertise importing country to an expertise exporting country. The UAE’s chairing of important global committees will undoubtedly go a long way in enhancing the security of our borders, strengthening global confidence in the UAE and building stronger relations with the international community in dealing with fastchanging threats and challenges posed by globalization of borders and free and wider movement of individuals and goods across the international borders. I took time out of my hectic preoccupation with my official duties to not just participate in these meetings but also to explore and experience the next generation smart gates developed by international companies especially for the UAE which is a pioneer in using it for seamless facilitation of travellers.
Major General Obaid Moheir bin Suroor Deputy Director General GDRFA-Dubai
|Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ | 9
Next to impossible to enter or exit Dubai with forged passport
D espite millions of passengers travelling
in and out of Dubai through its airports, land borders and sea points, Dubai enjoys an impeccable record as a safe and secure destination. Brigadier Khalaf Algaith, Assistant Director General for Investigation and Illegal’s Follow-up at GDRFA-Dubai asserts that it is next to impossible to enter or exit the emirate with forged passports. In an exclusive interview with Manafez Dubai, he shared his views on how Dubai has come to be known as a destination hard to penetrate through forged passports and travel documents.
Dubai has a worldclass Travel Documents Examination Training Center, but very few people know about it. When was it established?
A couple of years ago the center was just a small section at Dubai airport with few human and technical capabilities in terms of quantity and quality. In short, examining documents was based mainly on the human expertise. When passengers’ number through the Dubai airport swelled, a specialized center became inevitable. His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, was very enthusias10 |Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ |
1637 forged passports seized in 18 months tic when Major General Obaid Bin Suroor, GDRFA Deputy Director General introduced the idea to him. On June 5th 2010, the section was inaugurated as a full-fledged center with offices in Terminal 1, 2 and 3 at the Dubai International Airport. At a later stage, the center was expanded to include GDRFA. New office was opened at Zajil and now we are working on similar future projects in Jebel Ali and Rashid ports. We have come a long way in carrying out these projects in terms of technical, logistics and human needs.
We expect some of those projects to become operational by early next year. Not long ago the center worked under the direct supervision of Major General Obaid bin Suroor, but when the vision and mission of the center became clear and people gained confidence, the center became part of the Investigation and Illegal’s Follow-up Sector six months ago. The reason behind the move was logical since forgers and counterfeiters are referred to investigations at the GDRFA-Dubai on their way to Public Prosecution and courts rooms. Currently, we have 60 employees working at the center out of the
total 503 employees working in Investigation and Illegal’s Follow-up Sector. We are planning to add over 750 new employees over the next six years to allow our employees to specialize in fraud and forgery prevention, meet the increasing task of searching and arresting illegal persons, along with investigation and registry working 24 /7.
What are the goals of the center?
The Ministry of Interior’s strategic plan 2011-2014 stipulates that the UAE should be one of the world’s best countries in terms of security and in the subsequent plans until 2016 this goal has changed to “best country in the world in terms of security”. It goes without saying that Travel Documents Examination Training Center helps us in achieving this goal at Dubai International Airport which is by all means the most im-
90644 ‘suspect’ passports checked
portant entry and exit point going by the number of passengers. The second goal which was set for the center is to raise awareness about the dangers of forged travel documents through training courses designed and given by approved trainers.
What are the most outstanding achievements of the center?
During the past 18 months, the center has checked more than 90644 travel documents, out of which 1637 passports were found to be forged. Our goal is to reach zero forged travel documents. It is no exaggeration to say that it is next to impossible to enter or exit Dubai with a forged passport,
not only because of the extensive experience of our employees and the state-of-the-art technologies we deploy, but also because of extensive international cooperation for sharing information with other countries. In fact, our travel documents examination is not limited only to arrivals, we also carry out campaigns in transit areas to gain insights into the new forgery trends and to make it loud and clear to forged documentholding travelers that they might be caught any moment even if they do not intend to enter the emirate which has a world-acknowledged reputation as a no-forged passport traveler city.
What are the main sections at the center?
The center is divided into four sections: Examination section, security specialized training section, Electronic documents library sec|Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ | 11
tion and innovation and technology section. In fact, names of some of the sections have been changed from as we attempts to reinvent them into something new to reflect the new developments and actual needs and tasks of the center. Travel Documents Examination Section is the most important section at the centre and our aim is to train all the GDRFA-Dubai counter employees who are the first life of defense. We have come a long way towards achieving this goal. Even in between the intervals during the training courses, our experts gather at the counters during the noon rush periods to brief the staff about the newly-discovered cases of documents forgery and precautions to be taken. 12 |Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ |
Emirati forged documents experts are internationally recognized In the past 20 months from January 1st, 2013 until August 30th 2014, we have trained more than 1570 employees in the first and second level of forged travel documents examination. The first level is concerned with examining the passports with the expertise and devices available to the employees at the counters. In case of doubts, the counter staff refers the traveler to the back office manned mainly by the second-level employees with more expertise and advanced devices and if the passport was found to be a forged one
the traveler is referred to investigations at GDRFA. In addition to training the first-line employees, we are concerned with raising the efficiency of back office employees through more advanced training courses in cooperation with similar centers in the Netherlands and US. We very often engage our employees in workshops specialized in the latest methods and techniques in examining the travel documents. All in all we have 12 UAE trainers; some of them are internationally approved as second level experts on travel documents examinations. The center is one of the few government bodies that have reached the goal of 100 per cent Emiratisa-
1570 GDRFA employees trained in document forgery prevention courses state and compare it with a traveler’s document to determine whether it is forged or not.
How often you coordinate with airliners?
We periodically meet them to share information. In fact some airlines like Emirates have a trained and well-qualified cadre and foolproof system to examine documents, but not all airlines have the same capability. We are studying the viability of providing them training courses in the future.
What about the work of Innovation & Technologies Section? tion. We plan to have all of them as approved experts at courts and public persecution by early next year. We also have smart or virtual training section, where employees are allowed to register for training courses online and get all educational materials they need to study. They have to pass the face-to-face exam at the end of the course. We have annual plans in place for the targeted categories with specific dates. Without doubts, the smart training help us save money, time and efforts and allow us in spreading the benefits wider.
What about the benefits of Electronic Documents Library?
This section was known in the past as Edison, named after the international system of travel documents
UAE is the only Arab county in travel document database system database system in which the UAE is the only Arab country, along with the Netherlands, US, Canada and Australia. The global reference system pertaining to security contains all state-issued official documents all over the world, including passports, ID cards and driving licenses. Only member-states have the rights to enter the original documents, whereas non-member states have only the right to view original documents. All counter employees can use Edison database to view the original documents issued by a
This section has evolved in the recent times as technology and advanced devices are the backbone of our work. According to the new structure and mission statement, this section is tasked with raising the efficiency of the center and GDRFA in general; ensuring the smooth continuation of the center’s work; determining the best available technologies for travel documents examination; preparing studies about it; formulating suggestions that add value to the center and to carry out technical tests on current and new devices. This Section was a pioneer in adopting a revolutionary programme that allow counter employees to contact the GDRFA online and sent a 500-times higher resolution image of the original document of the traveler to determine instantly whether it is a forged one or not. |Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ | 13
emaratech: A global software manufacturing competitiveness and innovation T he UAE-headquartered,
leading ICT and online & smart solutions provider and consultant, emaratech, has an excellent track record on technological innovation.
Its advanced electronic visa system has not only protected visas against forgery and manipulation, but also enabled the UAE to issue visas in a record short time to handle the relentless increase in the number of travelers coming to the country. In an exclusive interview with Manafez Dubai, Thani Abdulla Alzaffin, Director General and Board Member of emaratech, shares his views and vision about the company’s achievements and future challenges. How is the ICT and online smart solutions solutions industry being challenged by tremendous growth in the UAE business environment? Under the visionary leadership of our rulers, the UAE business landscape is changing for better 14 |Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ |
Thani Alzaffin, Director General & Board Member of emaratech
New smart travel concept to be unveiled in collaboration with GDRFA-Dubai
at full speed. Public and private companies have no choice but to cope up with the ceaseless developments, meet the challenges of fast track growth and retain the UAE’s lead in the software and electronic solutions industry in the Arab region as envisioned in the Smart Government initiative. It is of a great importance to us to know and correctly identify the behavior of employees and provide end-users with a reliable, safe, flexible and secure online smart environment and infrastructure that enables them to benefit from the various government services 24/7.
We also pay close attention to reducing the cost of IT projects and expenses to develop and operate various smart solutions and achieve higher return on investments at the same time. In order to achieve those goals we attract and retain a highlytrained and qualified team of experts and technicians who are able to cope up with fast developments and cater to the customers’ needs in a professional way. there are many companies currently competing in the market to provide technology and smart solutions to government and private companies to enable them to be more efficient, cut red tape and costs, and generate more revenues.
GDRFA presentation on the mobile application engineered by emaratech
How competitive is the UAE in the global software industry? A number of factors have contributed towards pushing the UAE software manufacturing industry forward. The guidance and strategic vision of our leaders was instrumental in this regard. Also, our strategic geographical location as the new Silk Road connecting world’s growing economies in the East and West played a vital role in positioning the UAE on the right tracks. Last but not least, huge investments in infrastructure and modern economy have given public and private companies the much-need confidence in strengthening their role in the innovation journey. The strategic location, combined with dynamic and energetic demographic advantages, helped us draw a road map for innovation and creativity. At emaratech, we take great pride
Muscat International Airport and Jordan’s Queen Alia Airport now form part of emaratech portfolio in our brilliant achievements in the global software manufacturing industry. It is no exaggeration to say that our innovation, creativity and competitiveness go hand to hand with the best that the world can offer. One should keep in mind that the UAE is a pioneer in developing and deploying electronic gates and then smart gates which were launched last year at Terminal 3 of Dubai International Airport, in collaboration with our strategic partners. We are working with the governmental bodies to develop new smart travel concepts that will change the face of the industry.
As for the government transactions through the electronic visas system developed by emaratech, our country is well known for its quick, secure and wide range of visas, which have immensely helped in absorbing the increasing numbers of passengers, tourists and investors from all entry points. Our achievements list includes payments gateway that is able to compete on the international stage according to the highest security standard certificate awarded to us. Smart solutions are an integral part of our competitive capacity-building strategy for our strategic partners, in accordance with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Dubai Ruler, to keep pace with fast world developments. |Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ | 15
Border access & control and e-Government solutions and innovations were the highlight of emaratech participation in Gitex-2014.
We should be able to distinguish between the software manufacturing industry and devices and equipment manufacturing, where international companies have gone a long way in manufacturing devices and machines that operate the software. In order build our capacity to compete in devices manufacturing, we opted for forging partnerships with international companies by placing long-term investments & strategy. We believe we have a strong commitment to increase companies and establishments’ competitiveness capabilities and help them step up operational effectiveness through maximising the benefits of technology and software. What challenges do Arab countries face in keeping pace with fast developments around the world? In my view, what we lack most today in the Arab world is the faith in our real capabilities and human resources. 16 |Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ |
28 smart gates and 38 smart counters operational at Dubai airport Despite the fact the Arab world is abundant with natural wealth and human capital, most countries still lack adequate innovation and technological infrastructure to apply and create knowledge and best utilize information. There are great examples on impacts of knowledge economy on GDPs, productivity and employment growth opportunities. Arab communities’ over-dependence on imported technology will inevitably lead to relaxation in our endeavor to be pioneers. Technology is everywhere as an integral part of our day to day life and everyone has become a wizard in a very short time. However, as communities we still lack the ability to know how those systems work, how
they can be developed or repaired as long as we look to ourselves as consumers. Enhancing innovation and research portfolios, establishing industries collaboration, engaging and encouraging the involvement of the youth in innovative technology are yet to evolve and for societies to embrace effective innovation systems. The coming generations will have to be ready to play a positive role in shaping the world in a correlational relationship; it is our endeavor to enable societies embrace innovation in technology for sustainable growth and more and better jobs. How can companies balance the need to get the latest ICT, software and security services with the need to reduce operational cost? Private and public companies’ policies to outsource ICT services is a part of the overall strategy to compete on the world stage in the software in-
dustry and upgrade the expertise of both our national and expat skills. Many companies have opted for outsourcing their ICT services to specialised companies like emaratech as a way of not only reducing costs but also to make things go faster and more efficiently. Outsourcing is a back offices business in which we carry out all ICT operation on behalf of private and public sector organisations. Those offices stores accumulated ICT expertise including call centers for the first level of technical support, in addition to technicians who constantly monitor the systems’ technical operations along with projects management, business analysis, human resources and general management. emaratech has in operation the build, operate and transfer (BOT) model for government
contracts, which means building operational systems and software for a government body through a comprehensive outsourcing contract, without having to pay for the costs of those systems and software manufacturing. During the contractual period, emaratech will harness all its human and technical resources to achieve the government body goals, including upgrading the skills of IT people, training the employees to use those systems and software and bringing on board more expertise. Did emaratech manage to break the western monopoly in the borders control system industry? We have a long and excellent track record in the field of border access & control at airports, land and sea points. emaratech has developed and deployed 150 electronic gates in all UAE airports.
emaratech developed and deployed over 150 electronic gates in UAE airports We also have similar projects at Muscat International Airport and Queen Alia Airport in Jordan. We have installed 28 smart gates and 38 smart counters at Terminal 3 of Dubai International Airport, dedicated exclusively for Emirates Airlines. A plan is in place to rollout the smart gates at other terminals We have, in collaboration with our strategic partner, GDRFADubai, carried out an entry and exit automated system, AABER, for the land borders between the UAE and Sultanate of Oman. By the end of this year, we will announce a new concept for smart travel to keep pace with positive developments and the anticipated increase in the number of passengers.
emaratech provided smart gates for a number of stands supporting their demos. |Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ | 17
Technology helping in meeting passengers’ travel expectations I yad Hindiyeh, Head of Airport IT Business
Development at Amadeus IT Group SA, in an exclusive interview with Manafez Dubai, shares his thoughts about the latest developments in the travel industry and the technologies that are redefining the travel experience. How airlines and airports are preparing towards the evolution of Gulf States as free travel zone?
system: airlines, ground handlers, baggage handlers, security, retail and so on.
The GCC countries are building a system that allows national ID cards to be used as e-Gate cards at entry and exit points within the region.
With so many functions and systems requiring inter-cooperation, sharing information is a major challenge.
stamps, the effect will be faster clearances across the Gulf region through a fast track immigration system using smart technology. Furthermore, expatriates can also integrate the e-Gate facility on their national ID cards.
ing that the passenger travel experience is a smooth one.
gates, control loading, maximize runway capacity and achieve more on-time departures.
Travellers increasingly desire personalized experiences and customized services. What changes airlines and airports should Technologies that facilitate this adopt to meet their demands Apart from eliminating manual integration will be keys to ensur- and expectations?
With this system, passenger traffic is expected to increase significantly.
Amadeus offers airports a suite of solutions which enable airports, ground handlers and their airline partners to work collaboratively in assigning resources, processing passengers and managing the efficient operation of flight arrivals and departures.
Airports are likely to become congested and security will be an all-time high. In order to function harmoniously, airports need to be able to communicate with all operators in the airport eco-
The seamless integration of airline and airport DCSs provides a single view of the status of each passenger and each flight, making it easier to manage check-ins, process and track bags, assign
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Travel providers should consider the unique demographics of the new age traveller and how this impacts their expectations. Investment in mobile platforms that allow mobile booking, transparent feedback, and ability to share travel plans on social media will significantly impact the relationship of the provider with the traveller. Delivering to customers the ability to both checkin via their mobile - and then to use a barcode displayed by their mobile’s screen as a boarding pass - will smooth the passenger’s journey and at the same time reduce airline costs.
Passenger traffic is expected to increase significantly Providing live flight status information to airline staff and passengers via Internet-based applications will streamline communication processes, giving passengers the most up-to-date data and reducing airline costs.
Do you see significant changes in people using facilities like eGates, smart gates and ePassports to avoid queuing up at immigration control counters?
than 20 seconds. According to 2012 statistics from GDRFADubai, as many as 4,563,207 passengers used the 96 e-gates installed at the three terminals of the Dubai International Airport in 2012 in comparison to 3,971,767 in 2011. As for the visa related transactions, they hit 11,121,843 against 10,015,100 in 2011, whereas egate cards issued and renewed hit 131,788 in 2012 as compared to 128,704 in 2011.
cial market and technological readiness, the UAE ranked 14th globally, up from 20th. It also moved up to 21st from 24th in Innovation and Sophistication. Evidently, the UAE is conscious of its requirements and has consistently strived to increase its global competitiveness. Airports have regularly evaluated existing systems and procedures and taken steps to improve the traveller experience of its citizens, residents and visitors. I am certain that new technologies such as Mobile Passport Control will be implemented in due course.
Mobile Passport Control has been implemented in the US. Do you see similar services being implemented in the re- Will Mobile Passport The new technology paves the gion in near future? Control will be successful? way for a faster and more efficient movement of the growing number of passengers into and out of Dubai, the world’s second busiest airport for international passengers.
According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015, the UAE ranked second globally for government procurement of advanced technology.
The E-Gate system offers a smooth travel procedure and saves time and helps travelers finalize their procedures in less
In Efficiency Enhancers, which evaluates the efficiency and effectiveness of higher education systems, labour market, finan-
The successful implementation of any new service, whether technology related or otherwise, takes time. Systems consistently need to be updated and improvised based on the requirements of the airport, its staff and passengers. Mobile Passport Control is undoubtedly a win-win as it will allow travelers to submit their passport information and customs declaration form via a smartphone or tablet prior to customs inspection, resulting in an improved passenger experience and less stress on airport staff. New technologies like Mobile Passport Control will serve to be an integral part of any travellers’ experience, significantly reducing long queues at immigration counters. I do not think, however, that these technologies will replace the traditional passport control altogether in the near future. Rather, the two are complementary to each other. |Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ | 19
UAE opens first overseas visa issuance centre A cting Under Secretary at the UAE’s
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Mohammed Mir Al Raisi, inaugurated the first consular section and visa issuance centre outside the UAE in a ceremony in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo in the presence of Sri Lankan Minister of External Affairs, Gamini Lakshman Peiris. According to a WAM report, Al Raisi expressed appreciation for the efforts to develop the bilateral relations between the UAE and Sri Lanka in various spheres. He emphasized that the opening of the facility is aimed at strengthening the cooperation relations on consular affairs; improving customer service; and facilitating pro-
cedures for workers’ entry to the UAE through eGates. Minister Peiris said the opening of the facility represents a historic moment in the bilateral relations between the two countries. He thanked the UAE for its positions on regional and international issues and its support to Sri Lanka.The Sri Lankan minister also hailed the system used in the visa issuance centre as one of the most efficient in the world. The new visa centre serves 500 customers every day and uses passport authentication
and biometrics such as fingerprints, eyeprints and faceprints, and medical tests conducted at 15 Sri Lankan centres accredited by the UAE Ministry of Health. Through the new visa issuance centre, MoFA will provide all relating administrative services in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior, MoI, using a fully-integrated electronic system within an advanced framework of security controls aimed at achieving maximum protection for visa and entry procedures.
New smart cards for Pakistanis in UAE U AE-based Pakistanis can now apply for new “tamper-
proof” smart ID cards designed to prevent identity fraud and serve as the gateway to various services and benefits.
Each SNICOP (Smart National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis) carries its holder’s fingerprint and eye scan, making fraud impossible. It also has 30 built-in security features and laser engraving. The card costs AED128 for the normal application service, AED147 for urgent, and AED165 for the executive category. SNICOP is issued within 10 to 30 days, depending on the opted service, and remains valid for seven years. Since it stores information securely, it will eventually access driving licence records, enable electronic voting, cash transfers and even frequent-flyer programmes and store discounts. SNICOP’s predecessor in Pakistan — the SNIC (Smart National Identity Card) — is already in service for accidental death insurance schemes and targeted subsidy programmes.
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Natalie Tours hosts annual conference in Dubai
N atalie Tours, a premier Russian tour
operator, hosted its 10th Annual Congress in Dubai in October, in collaboration with Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Atlantis The Palm Dubai Hotel & Resort, and Alpha Tours. The Congress brought 230 directors of various travel agencies in Russia and the CIS states. Natalie Tours has carved a niche as one of the leading tour operators into the UAE, bringing around two million tourists from Russia and the CIS states over the past 10 years. The business sessions of the Congress focused
on the efforts and initiatives of Natalie Tours in bringing in tourists from Russia and CIS into the UAE. The conference was addressed by Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director of General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs – Dubai (GDRFA-Dubai), Marc Bennett, Senior Vice President, International Operations of DTCM, Jeyhun Efendi, Senior Vice President Commercial Operations, Dubai Tourism, Vladimir Vorobiev, President of Natalie Tours, Natalia Vorobieva, CEO of Natalie Tours, Serge Zaalof,
COO of Atlantis The Palm, and Adnan Aridi, Managing Director of Alpha Tours. Vorobieva: “We are extremely delighted to host our 10th Annual Congress in Dubai, which is one of the most strategic target markets. We have traditionally seen a high tourists’ traffic into Dubai and the UAE in spite of the economic turbulence and challenges back in Russia and the CIS states. This Congress is a great opportunity to highlight the unique attractions that Dubai and UAE offer. We are thankful to our partners Alpha Tours for their continued support and guidance over the years.”
Dubai among world’s second-home hotspots D ubai is one of the world’s hotspots
for multi-millionaires looking to buy second homes, according to a new report.The report by New World Wealth, a global wealth consultancy firm, named Dubai as the fifth most popular city, ahead of the likes of Paris, Monaco and Miami.
It said a total of 8,200 multi-millionaires have bought second homes in the emirate. The list was topped by London (22,300), with New York (17,400) and Hong Kong (14,800) ranked second and third respectively. Of the cities listed, the most expensive ones for prime real estate were
named as Monaco ($50,400 per square metres), London ($42,000) and Hong Kong ($36,000). New World Wealth said a majority of the multi-millionaires - classified as those with net assets of at least $10 million - buying second homes in Dubai were from the Middle East. |Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ | 21
Database of Indian expatriates in UAE planned
I ndian diplomatic missions in the
UAE are working on a mechanism to compile the database of Indian expatriates in the Arab world’s second biggest economy. “We are now working on a new system which will allow us to get comprehensive data from various expatriate communities. We hope to unveil it in a few weeks’ time,” said Anurag Bhushan, Consul General of India in Dubai. He said the missions will seek the help of all the community associa-
tions, private companies employing Indians, and recruitment agencies to popularise the new system. “I understand that until we have completed the registration, we cannot really reach out to all of you.” The Counsellor for Community Affairs at the Indian Embassy, Anand Bardhan, said the missions here have failed to get registrations done by the Indian expatriates living and arriving in the UAE though they had been encouraging online system for registration for years.
Dubai hotel rooms capacity to reach 160,000 by 2020
thriving hospitality industry of Dubai, recording consistently high occupancy rates and sustained expansion, is on track to boost capacity to 160,000 by 2020. In the first half of 2014, Dubai welcomed more than 5.8 million tourists. In the first half of 2014, Dubai welcomed more than 5.8 million tourists. Since 1999, Dubai’s vibrant hotel industry has been on a phenomenal growth. From 378 properties comprising 254 hotels and 124 hotel apartments, offering a total of 25,188 room keys, Dubai’s hotel has expanded to include a further 256 properties to reach a total of 634 establishments and 88,888 room keys — an increase of over 350 per cent, according to data released by the organizers of the Hotel Show Dubai 2014.
Highest compliance for midday break rule in 10 years T he UAE’s Ministry of Labour inspected 77,522 fa-
cilities during the three-month period from June 15 to September 15 and found 99.69 per cent compliance with the summer mid-day break rule. The Ministry of Labour has announced that 99.69 per cent of the private companies in the country complied with the summer midday break rule this year — registering the highest compliance rate in the past 10 years. During the three-month period from June 15 to September 15, companies are not allowed to make outdoor workers work between 12.30 pm and 3 pm. The ministry said 147 facilities were found flouting the rule.
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In addition to these visits, teams from the ministry made 27,752 visits to raise awareness about the rule. Mubarak Saeed Al Dhaheri, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Labour, pointed out that the record compliance level affirms the importance of the law and its role in providing a safe and healthy work environment for the workers. The penalty for flouting the rule is AED15,000, a WAM report says.
Over half of UAE residents to invest in property sector T he
majority of UAE residents are now investing in property, rather than gold – considered the traditional favourite, a new survey has found. According to a survey conducted by IP Global and YouGov, around 53 per cent of the residents polled said that
they invested in property compared to 43 per cent who invested in gold. Of those UAE residents who have invested in property, 41 per cent put their money in properties overseas, compared with just 12 per cent owning property in the Emirates.
This suggests that confidence is greater in the overseas property market at present, the survey said. However, this could change with 57 per cent of those polled naming Dubai as their next preferred property investment destination, compared with just 21 per cent who consider London as the location of their next property purchase. “More and more people are starting to see property investment as one of the highest performing asset classes within their investment portfolios,” said Paul Preston, head of IP Global, Middle East. Aside from property, other popular asset classes among the respondents were commodities, bonds and stocks as well as fixed/time deposits, the survey said.
96% of residents enjoy living in Dubai A n overwhelming 96 per cent of Dubai residents said they feel safe and protected in Dubai, according to the 3rd Dubai Social Study conducted by the Community Development Authority (CDA) in association with Dubai Statistics Centre (DSC). The figure increased from 92.80 per cent in the first study in 2011.
The extent of happiness felt by residents — covering the year before the study was conducted — was pegged at 8.08 on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being ‘extremely happy’. This perception of happiness also increased compared with the 7.9 rating in 2011.
“They come from [an action] that had impacted positively on the service [they received] and how people feel.” The study was conducted in the last quarter of 2013 and 3,796 families composed of 1,328 Emirati households, 1,504 non-Emirati households, 464 collective families and 500 individuals from labour accommodations were surveyed.
Westerners report being the happiest, followed by Emiratis, then Arabs, while Asians and Africans took the last spot. “The indicators are showing improvement. Something must have happened for these numbers to go up,” Khalid Al Kamda, CDA Director-General, told Gulf News. |Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ | 23
Middle East News
KSA suspends labour visas to Ebola-hit countries T he Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has stopped granting visas to workers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the countries worst-hit by the deadly Ebola virus.
The “preventive measure” is based on “directives from the foreign and health ministries to avoid” the spread of Ebola to the kingdom, the official news agency SPA reported. The virus, for which there is no treatment or vaccine, has claimed 1,552 lives out of 3,069 reported cases — 694 in Liberia, 430 in Guinea, 422 in Sierra Leon and six in Nigeria, according to the World Health Organization. Saudi Arabia made a similar decision in April when it announced
the suspension of visas for Haj pilgrims from Guinea and Liberia. The Haj pilgrimage, the world’s biggest Muslim gathering, draws two million people to Saudi Arabia each year, including many from the West African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak.
KSA launches website for expat workers S audi Arabia’s labour ministry has
launched a website to educate expatriate workers about their rights and ways to avail them. The website www.laboreducation.gov.sa aims to prevent violation of workers’ rights and boost awareness among them about the rules that regulate the relationship between the employee and employer in the country, Arab News reported. The site’s Arabic version has comprehensive information on contact details of relevant authorities, workers’ rights, contractual
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obligations and wages, working hours, training, qualification, work responsibility, disciplinary rules and the calculation of end of service benefits. The English version is under construction and will be launched shortly. The website was launched after several reports of exploitation of expatriate workers due to lack of legal knowledge. At 2.8 million, Indians account for the largest expatriate community in Saudi Arabia. Egyptians represent 40 per cent of Saudi Arabia’s total expatriate workforce.
The “temporary suspension” of labor visas from the three African nations “will not affect the labor market in Saudi Arabia” where the number of workers from these countries “is very little,” SPA quoted deputy Labor Minister Mufrej Al-Haqbani as saying.
GCC plans tough expat blacklist
F oreigners blacklisted by a Gulf coun-
try could be denied entry to all GCC states, Gulf Daily News reported.Labour ministers from the GCC met in in Kuwait in October to discuss the proposal, which also include setting up a unified immigration database of all expatriates deported from each of the six states. Information of deported workers will be shared within the GCC states to stop them from entering their borders. If all the GCC labour ministers agree on this proposal, then it has to be informed to the interior ministries in the six states.
Middle East News
3000 ‘dummy’ firms in Kuwait under probe A bout 3,000 files of dummy private companies in Kuwait have been referred to the Public Prosecution and the Criminal Investigation Department in the Ministry of Interior, reported Al- Jarida quoting sources close to the Public Authority for Manpower.
Sources explained these files are among 5,000 files of companies suspended for involvement in human trafficking, in addition to violation of Private Sector Labor Law number 6/2010 and related ministerial decisions.After reviewing these files, the concerned authority discovered the companies did not update their data or change any information. Records of these companies in the Ministry
Doha airport deploys ABC eGates
H amad International Airport (HIA) is
now home to one of the largest number of Automated Border Control (ABC) eGates in the world. A seamless, memorable passenger journey was the motto for the implementation of a state-of-the-art Border Control process at the Doha facility. Vision-Box was contracted by the airport’s Steering Committee for the implementation of one of the largest number of eGates in one single airport in the world. The 62 vb i-match eGates are already in use at the HIA, operated by VisionBox’s front-end Border Control application. The multimodal capabilities allow for the use of face, iris and fingerprint as biometric identifiers.
of Commerce and Industry did not include addresses which would have enabled the relevant authority to conduct inspections, sources revealed. According to sources, these files were referred to the Public Prosecution for
violating Section B of Article Three in law number 30/1995 that was issued as amendment to law number 38/1964 on private sector labor. Sources pointed out the owners of these companies have failed to report to the concerned authorities to clarify their positions.
Saudi Arabia eases sponsorship transfer rules T he Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Labor
has posted on its social networking account an advisory about sponsorship transfer rules for expatriates if their companies fail to provide work and residence permits. The Ministry of Labor (MOL) stated that a newly recruited foreign worker can look for another sponsor without permission if his company fails to issue a work permit as a result of being in the Red or Yellow zone category. If a company falls within the Red or Yellow zones it is not allowed to recruit foreign workers or renew the permits of it current expatriate staff.
Other situations that entitle foreign workers to seek a change in sponsorship include the failure of their companies to issue work and residence permits within three months of their arrival, or the expiry of the work permits and iqamas of its other staff.
|Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ | 25
Middle East News
New entry rules for expats at Oman airports N ew rules to regulate the movement
of expatriate workers and other passengers through the airport and some other related issues are expected to be introduced by the end of the year, according to Oman Airports Management Company (OAMC). The decision was made at a recent high-profile meeting held at Muscat International Airport. Regional general manager of Oman Air, director of public prosecution for labour affairs, OAMC, Royal Oman Police (ROP), Ministry of Manpower and a number of other officials participated in the meeting.
According to the information provided by OAMC to the Times of Oman, 12 safety and security-related topics were discussed at the meeting and the need for adopting clear-cut procedures to deal with them was agreed upon. The meeting centered around the issues related to the arrival of expatriate workers at the airport until they
leave the airport as per the law of the country. It was emphasized that the procedures should be clarified with the aim of raising awareness of the employers and the workers about their rights and regulations. As soon as the new rules are adopted, brochures in different languages will be distributed about the new regulations and the embassies in Muscat will also be informed.
SPS helps cut disputes in Oman C ash-in-hand wages will become
a thing of the past in Oman as a modern payment system designed to protect workers is rolled out across the Sultanate of Oman. Around 7,086 international and excellent grade companies have already implemented the Salary Protection System (SPS) for 292,990 employees in the private sector as of July 2014, according to a report in Times of Oman. The Ministry of Manpower (MoM), in association with the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) had implemented the Salary Protection System in February 2014.
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This new system requires employers to pay all staff salaries through authorised financial service providers in the Sultanate. Once companies implement the SPS, employers cannot make salary payments by cash but only through regulated channels like banks as approved by the CBO. The process of putting in place the Salary Protection System began in December 2013 and we have received a positive response. The aim of the system is to ensure that employees are paid salaries on time and in accordance with the contract.
381,000 travel ban requests in Kuwait T he Sentences Enforcement Department at Ku-
wait’s Interior Ministry has received 380,174 requests for enforcing orders to impose travel ban, arrest and confiscation of some properties against citizens and expatriates who failed to settle debts within the first half of 2014. Statistics issued by the department revealed there were 42,847 requests for travel ban; 33,716 for detention; 29,575 arrest warrants totaling 106,138. The department indicated that it has succeeded in completing 1.305 million transactions within the first half of the year. These transactions included requests for impounding of vehicles, travel ban, arrest warrant and detention of debtors.
|Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ | 27
Remittances to developing countries rise A latest World Bank report says offi-
cially recorded remittances to developing countries are expected to reach $435 billion this year, an increase of five percent over 2013. The growth rate this year is substantially faster than the 3.4 percent growth recorded in 2013, driven largely by remittances to Asia and Latin America. Remittances to developing countries will continue climbing in the medium term, reaching an estimated $454 billion in 2015. Global remittances, including those to high-income countries, are estimated at $582 billion this year, rising to $608 billion next year. In 2013, remittances were significantly higher than foreign direct investment (FDI) to develop-
ing countries (excluding China) and were three times larger than official development assistance. The report said remittance inflows provided stable cover for substantial
Lifelong visas for Indian diaspora I
ndian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced several measures to ease travel of Indian diaspora to their motherland including life-long visas. In addition, the Indian missions in the US would grant long-term visas to US citizens and US tourists would get visa on arrival in India. Online visas would be introduced and visa outsourcing services expanded to reduce current problems. Currently PIO cards, given to those who themselves, their parents or grandparents or their spouse, were one-time Indian citizens, allow for visa-free travel to and from India. However, a PIO card is only valid for 15 years. According to
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Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, India has the second largest diaspora in the world after Overseas Chinese. The overseas Indian community estimated at over 25 million is spread across every major region in the world. Indians in the US are now one of the largest among the groups of immigrants with an estimated population of about 3.18 million.
parts of the import bill for such countries as Egypt, Pakistan, Haiti, Honduras, and Nepal. India and China lead the chart with projected remittance inflows of, respectively, $71 and $64 billion in 2014.
Seychelles to issue passports in 24 hours
S eychelles citizens can now count on being issued with their passport 24 hours after submitting their application to the archipelago’s immigration services instead of having to wait seven days as was the case before. This comes now that the immigration services has reviewed the way it operates to offer a better service when it comes to issuing passports and permits. The Seychelles Principal Secretary for Immigration and Civil Status, Charles Bastienne, said the new system is in place for several months now. Similarly processing of a Dependent’s Permit and Gainful Employment Permit (GOP) have gone down from three weeks to five days.
Forced migration highest since WWII F orced migration due to violence and conflict has reached unprecedented levels, according to a latest World Bank study.
In a special analysis on forced migration, the bank noted that forced migration due to conflict is at its highest level since World War II, affecting more than 51 million people. An additional 22 million people have been forced to move due to natural disasters, bringing the total affected by forced migration to at least 73 million, according to the latest available data.
Forced migration is typically viewed as a humanitarian issue but affects growth, employment and public spending for both origin and destination countries. Forced migration is a major challenge in several regions. In developing Europe and Central Asia, one million people in Ukraine have been displaced, while the high-income countries of Europe are receiving record numbers of asylum seekers. Applications to the entire region rose to over 480,000, an increase of 68 percent from 2009.
Foreigners need NoE to work in Romania F oreigners
may be employed or deployed to Romania based on a Notice of Employment (NoE) which the employer has to obtain from the General Inspectorate for Immigration, according to an ordinance adopted by the Government, reports local Mediafax. The ordinance aims to harmonize the national legislation with a series of European regulations in this area. Foreigners legally staying in Romania may be employed based on the notice of employment, obtained by employers.
Under the same normative act, a notice of employment is not needed for the employment of foreigners whose free access on the labor market in Romania is established by treaties concluded by Romania with other states. The same goes for foreigners who are to carry out temporary teaching or scientific activities in specialized institutions.Also, foreigners holding a long-term right of residence, a temporary stay right for family reunification, or a temporary stay right for studies, can be employed without obtaining the notice.
Pakistan and Iran top the world list of refugee host countries, as millions of people from neighboring Afghanistan remain displaced after more than 35 years of conflict. At the end of 2013, nine out of 10 refugees were being hosted in developing countries. The war in Syria has displaced half the country’s population, with three million refugees crossing borders and 6.5 million people displaced internally. Most Syrian refugees have fled to neighboring Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan, joining millions of Iraqi and Palestinian refugees already there.
Philippines to register foreigners
T he Bureau of Immigration (BI) has set a
year-long schedule for the registration of aliens or foreigners in the Philippines.The Alien Registration Program (ARP) will be held from October 1 to September 30, 2015. The ARP aims to account, register, capture information, enroll fingerprints and update the bureau’s alien data base and provide assistance for visa-related problems, an official told the Philippine Information Agency. Aliens availing of the program must personally apply at any authorized BI regional office and must bring duly filled-out ARP form and valid identification like passport or driver’s license. |Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ | 29
Foreign population reaches all-time high in Korea
Hungary to raise price of residency bonds
H ungary is going to raise the price
of residency bonds beginning next year. As of 1 January 2015, a residency bond will cost no less than EUR300,000 (face value). Since the launch of the programme, Hungary sold 1,102 residency bonds to foreigners at a face value of EUR275.5 million.
T he number of foreign nationals in
Korea has exceeded 1.7 million. According to a report by the Korea Immigration Service and the Justice Ministry, 1.71 million foreign citizens were in the country, 10.6 percent higher than in the same period in 2013. The total number of registered residents ― who are staying in Korea for at least 90 days ― ac-
counted for 61.8 percent, while 22.2 percent were on short term visas. The remaining 16 percent were Korean-Americans. The number of illegal immigrants also increased by 3.5 percent to 189,000, compared to August 2013. Over half ― 866,000 ― of the foreign nationals in Korea were Chinese, 579,000 of whom were ethnic Koreans.
The state generated revenues of nearly HUF85 billion, which has been labeled as an extraordinary success. The goal was to sell 4,000 bonds over a four-year period. The Parliament’s economic committee backed a law amendment proposal according to which the face value of the residency bond will be raised to EUR300,000 from the current EUR250,000.
4.3 million illegal migrants staying in Russia O ver 4.3 million illegal migrants live
and work in Russia, according to Anatoly Fomenko, deputy head of the Russian Federal Migration Service. Over 13.5 million foreigners have visited Russia since the start of the year. There are 11.8 million foreigners in Russia now, RIA Novosti reported. Over eight million foreigners use the visa-free regime to enter the country. Over 4.3 million foreigners from CIS countries have violated the permit to stay 90 days. Most
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of them are young people who have poor knowledge of the language and who have not integrated into Russian society. Fomenko emphasized that foreign labour migrants were one of the
most complicated problems, because Russia needs workers but high migration to Russia has had a negative impact on the employment structure and created an imbalance in the social sector, causing conflicts, including ethnic ones.
|Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ | 31
FBI launches NGI system
Ready to face the future
B y 2015, FBI’s Next Generation
Identification (NGI) System in the US will include 46 million criminal images and 4.3 million civil images Humans often use faces to recognize individuals, and advancements in computing capability over the past few decades now enable similar recognitions automatically. Early facial recognition algorithms used simple geometric models, but the recognition process has now matured into a science of sophisticated mathematical representations and matching processes. Major advancements and initiatives in the past 10 to 15 years have propelled facial recognition technology into the spotlight. Facial recognition can be used for both verification and identification.
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Automated facial recognition is a relatively new concept. Developed in the 1960s, the first semi-automated system for facial recognition required the administrator to locate features (such as eyes, ears, nose, and mouth) on photographs before it calculated distances and ratios to a common reference point, which were then compared to reference data. The computer-based facial recognition industry has made much useful advancement in the past decade; however, the need for higher accuracy remains. Through the determination and commitment of industry, government evaluations, and organ-
ized standards bodies, growth and progress will continue, raising the bar for face-recognition technology. After more than three years of development, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has announced in September the completion and full operation of its Next Generation Identification (NGI) System, a facial recognition system. NGI will work in conjunction with its predecessor, the Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS), which currently contains more than 100 million records of biometric data, including palm prints
Major advancements and initiatives in the past 10 to 15 years have propelled facial recognition technology into the spotlight
and iris scans. NGI will combine this data with collected facial images and link them to personal information such as name, age and address. The system is said to be capable of processing 55,000 photos a day, as well as conducting tens of thousands of searches. By the end of its first year, the database is expected to hold 52 million faces. Most faces in the system are collected from criminal records. But that does not make up the entire database. Jennifer Lynch, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said: “Although the FBI has
said in these documents that it will not allow non-mug shot photos such as images from social networking sites to be saved from the system, there are no legal or even written FBI policy restrictions in place to prevent this from occurring.” The database is expected to include around 4.3 million images taken for non-criminal reasons by the end of the year. Though the database will be used by tens of thousands of US law enforcement agencies of all stripes, the efficacy of facial recognition has been called into question. When given a suspect’s face, the system returns a ranked list of 50 possible matches, and promises an 85 percent chance that the suspect is on the list. Programmers have installed the NGI in 18,000 bureaus across the US and will be monitoring from the FBI headquarters in Washington.
The FBI began piloting the programme in February 2011 with the MorphoTrust that had produced a State Department facial recognition database containing about 244 million images. The programme adds to the FBI’s fingerprint database, which contains over 100 million records. In June, FBI Director James Comey told lawmakers, remarked: “We’re piloting the use of mug shots, along with our fingerprint database, to see if we can find bad guys by matching pictures with mug shots.” The NGI system will now include automated fingerprint search capabilities, mobile fingerprint identification and electronic image storage, said a press release from the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division. The new system can also pick out suspects from a crowd and will fea|Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ | 33
ture a notification system, called Rap Back that will give investigators live updates of any given criminal’s movements. By 2015, detectives are expected to able to use the system’s Interstate Photo System (IPS) to trace at least 52 million people, including innocent citizens, which has some privacy groups crying foul. The groups say it’s another step taken in the direction of becoming a surveillance state, especially since the system will mix criminal mug shots with non-criminal faces from employment records and background check databases, The Verge reported. US whistleblower Edward Snowden said in June that the National Security Agency (NSA) pulls in millions of images to aid its own facial recognition program, according to Al Jazeera America. Comey remarked: “I think there is some circumstances in which when 34 34 |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai|November |November٢٠١٤ ٢٠١٤||
Most faces in the system are collected from criminal records states send us records, they’ll send us pictures of people who are getting special driving licenses to transport children or explosive materials or something--but as I understand it, those are not part of the searchable NGI database.” The facial recognition system “will provide the nation’s law enforcement community with an investigative tool that provides an image-searching capability of photographs associated with criminal identities,” the FBI press release said. The civil liberties group, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) argues that the system is a threat to privacy of Americans with no criminal record. In April, EFF filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to obtain information on NGI.
The group said the documents they obtained showed up to 4.3 million pictures taken for non-criminal purposes will be added to the database. The FBI said the new system will eventually replace the national fingerprint database and is the first of a string of phases that will modernize the country’s detective work. The face recognition component of NGI may include as many as 52 million face images by 2015. By 2012, NGI already contained 13.6 million images representing between seven and eight million individuals, and by the middle of 2013, the size of the database increased to 16 million images. In the past, the FBI has never linked the criminal and non-criminal fingerprint databases. This has meant that any search of the criminal print database (such as to identify a suspect or a latent print at a crime scene) would not touch the non-criminal database. This will also change with NGI.
MorphoTrust built and maintains the face recognition systems for the Department of State
Now every record—whether criminal or non—will have a Universal Control Number (UCN), and every search will be run against all records in the database. This means that even if you have never been arrested for a crime, if your employer requires you to submit a photo as part of your background check, your face image could be searched—and you could be implicated as a criminal suspect—just by virtue of having that image in the non-criminal file. By 2012, nearly half of US states had expressed interest in participating in the NGI pilot programme, and several of them had already shared their entire criminal mug shot database with the FBI. The company responsible for building NGI’s facial recognition component -MorphoTrust - has also built the face recognition systems used by approximately 35 state Department
of Motor Vehicles (DMV). MorphoTrust built and maintains the face recognition systems for the Department of State, which has the “largest facial recognition system deployed in the world” with more than 244 million records, 3 and for the Department of Defense, which shares its records with the FBI. The NGI system was designed by defense contractor Lockheed Martin (LMT) in a $1 billion deal. The facial recognition software was built by Massachusetts-based MorphoTrust that already does the biometric scans at 450 US airports and DMVs in 42 states. And the identification system isn’t limited to your face. The system is able to spot and search for scars, tattoos, birth marks. FBI documents show the agency built the system to accommodate for future collection of biometric data. If and when our eyeballs, voices and walking style are recorded and categorized, the system will be able to uniquely identify a person that way too.
Like it or not, we should be ready to face the future.
Facial recognition system for online purchases Researchers at the Chongqing Institute of Green and Intelligent Technology in China are currently developing a facial recognition payment system that enables users to authorize their online transactions by showing a photo of themselves. The system enables users to interlink their bank accounts or credit cards with facial data and make purchases without the use of any passwords or PINs. A special camera captures a photo of the user’s face, collecting biometric data about the face from 91 angles. The data is then cross-checked against a database of two million sets of data. The system has had an exceptionally high success rate, with a reported accuracy rate of 998 times out of 1,000 tests. The system will allow consumers to shop without having to memorize a password or PIN. Implementation could be as early as the second half of 2015. By then, the researchers say users will be able to install the app on mobile devices and connect with their financial payment method which will collect their facial features, using them as a password.
|Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ | 35
Asian Migrant Workers
Filling A Niche E conomic growth,
demographic changes, labor shortages, and wage differentials among countries of origin and destination are expected to continue to drive labor migration.
A study jointly prepared by the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) says migrants from Asia remain a major and rising component of migration flows to OECD, a grouping of 34 of the world’s most advanced and emerging countries. Titled Labor Migration, Skills & Student Mobility in Asia, the report said their number rebounded significantly after the moderate fall triggered by the global financial crisis. In 2011, 1.6 million Asian nationals migrated to the OECD countries, accounting for one third of all migrants to these countries. The US remains the major destination country of Asian migrants, followed by 36 |Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ |
Korea and Japan. China, India and the Philippines are the leading origin countries of migrant flows to OECD countries.
labor mobility is the most challenging one, due to culture, politics, and sovereignty.”
It said Asian migrant workers not only alleviated the structural labor shortages in the host countries, but also contributed significantly to the economy of their home countries.
Pursuing higher education abroad is considered an effective channel to immigrate to industrialized countries for Asian youths. It is estimated that 15–30 per cent of international students in OECD countries eventually stay on in the country where whey graduated.
Remittances of migrants have been a major income source for many developing countries in Asia. They accounted for more than 10 per cent of GDP in Bangladesh and in the Philippines. The study observed: “Free trade, free capital flows, and free labor mobility are the eventual objectives of globalization. Among these, free
An effective channel
Students from Asia now make up 52 per cent of all international students in OECD countries. More than three quarters of Asian students are concentrated in only four countries: the US, Australia, UK and Japan. English-speaking countries have a natural advantage in attracting international students. Asian countries like
Globally, China has emerged as the second most important destination country of Asian students after the US
China, Japan and Korea have been catching up by offering programmes in English, as well as scholarships and work opportunities to international students during and after their studies. Globally, China has emerged as the second most important destination country of Asian students after the US.
Filling a niche
The study said migrants are filling a niche in the destination country labor markets by doing jobs that nationals do not want or cannot fill. Economic growth, demographic changes, labor shortages, and wage differentials among countries of origin and destination are expected to continue to drive labor migration in Asia. Such labor migration largely occurs under temporary migration regimes and for “low-skilled” work. The development contribution that migrant workers make to their host and origin countries is better recognized, and migration helps to improve the quality of life of many migrants and their families in Asia. The report pointed out that a number of structural challenges to mobility remain. Economic cycles in the region have often seen boom and bust. Where migration is used to meet labor demand, it may be difficult to reconcile with such a cycle. Migrant workers are more mobile than local workers, but not all may pack up and leave when cycles
change. This is always a challenge for migration policy.
Skills mobility not only means the ability to migrate, but also the opportunity to return home again during or after a spell abroad. There is growing interest in the potential synergies to be gained from “brain circulation” and from the skills, competences, and networks acquired by migrants. Even so, the characteristics of returning migrants and their behavior
in the region are little understood. Finally, the report argued, free mobility zones can lead to better allocation of skills across borders and mutual benefit, and the development of free movement for professionals within ASEAN will put the international standards of some of the institutions and training systems in the region to the test. While labor migration in Asia generates substantial benefits for countries of origin in terms of jobs and remittances, the high recruitment costs combined with low wages |Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ | 37
There are clear limits to what a state can do to protect its migrant workers without the active cooperation of the countries of employment
Women face barriers in finding overseas employment, and female domestic migrant workers are among the most vulnerable
have led to heavy debt burdens for workers. Women face barriers in finding overseas employment, and female domestic migrant workers are among the most vulnerable. The study said during employment overseas, migrants are often concentrated in sectors with ‘inadequate’ labour legislation and enforcement. The increasing importance of labour migration in the region has raised the issue of social protection. Social protection schemes are often limited to the formal sector and non-migrant population. In Asia, the majority of the working population, including migrant workers, is employed in informal sectors not fully covered by labor laws or social protection measures. National legislation in East and Southeast Asia generally provides for equal treatment between nationals and migrants in terms of remuneration and labor protection and the ASEAN has recognized the importance of the protection of migrant workers’ rights. 38 |Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ |
The study said the international mobility of skills can be spontaneous, but institutions play a role as gatekeepers, facilitators, and promoters at different points. There are many means for assessing demand, and origin countries can work with destination countries to ensure that recognition systems are appropriate and that information about opportunities is correct and reaches potential migrants. The doors are increasingly open to the highly educated, across the region, even if other factors such as language and employer aversion to foreign qualifications and experience may be a greater brake on movement than admission policy. The respect for human rights of all migrant workers and family members and implementation of international labor standards is essential for managing low-skilled labor migration and fostering decent work, the report argued.
In Malaysia, strong demand from firms in the manufacturing, agriculture, and construction sectors has resulted in a large inflow of foreign workers. In Thailand, labour shortage has directly manifested itself in the huge absorption of foreign workers, mainly from neighboring countries, in manufacturing, agriculture, and services. Apart from Singapore, countries of destination in the region appear to be relying on one source of information (employer applications for hiring migrant workers) for assessing labor market requirements.
There are two main features of admission policies of countries of destination in Asia. First, countries of destination have developed temporary labor migration regimes for low-skilled migration and have often entered into bilateral agreements or MoUs with countries of origin. Second, countries in ASEAN are moving toward the free movement of professionals. More migrant workers enter undocumented than through the MoUs, although the number entering via the MoUs is increasing. This is partly explained by slow emigration procedures in the countries of origin. An informed and transparent labor market information system linked to requirements in the destination country is one of the ways that wellmanaged labor migration is promoted and abuses reduced.
A priority concern for all labor-sending governments should be to ensure that, as far as possible, vulnerable (low-skilled) women and men migrant workers are not exploited during recruitment and employment, and to secure decent employment and working conditions. Regulation of recruitment agencies is often ineffective, timely information on job opportunities not readily available, and recruitment options largely limited to private recruitment agencies. Emerging good practices have included efforts to regulate subagents and develop a rating mechanism, the development of codes of conduct for its members by associations of recruitment agencies and recruitment by public placement agencies. The provision of support services to labor migrants can extend from information provision and pre-departure orientation, a contributory welfare fund to meet protection and emergency needs in the country of destination, provision of insurance coverage, posting of labor attachés to protect and assist workers abroad, and—subject to the laws of the destination countries—the operation of shelters and migrant service centers. The report said the protection of migrant workers while working in the destination country is best secured by the legislation of that country, whether this is by the labor code, employment legislation, or other rules concerned with the regulation and protection of foreign workers. Despite the strenuous efforts made by some sending countries to pro-
More than three quarters of Asian students are concentrated in only four countries: the US, Australia, UK and Japan
tect migrant workers, they continue to experience numerous problems in destination countries, particularly vulnerable groups such as female domestic workers and lower-skilled workers. There are clear limits to what a state can do to protect its migrant workers without the active cooperation of the countries of employment. In addition to the protection and welfare of migrant workers, interstate and international cooperation is essential in expanding organized labor migration and curbing irregular movement.
In recent years, some Asian countries have joined the competition for global talent. Japan has accelerated access to permanent residence for qualified and skilled foreign workers; the Chinese government has introduced a number of policy initiatives such as the “1,000 Talents Plan” to attract overseas highly educated Chinese as well as foreign experts. Within Asia, the most important initiative in the area of skills mobility has been undertaken by the ASEAN, which decided in 2007 to achieve a regional ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015. In the AEC blueprint, the fifth of five pillars is the free mobility of skilled workers within ASEAN. The experiences of European countries suggest that free mobility of skilled workers gives rise to positive economic benefits.
Highly educated and skilled workers play a critical role in economic development and technological innovations. Despite various institutional restrictions on cross-border labor mobility, the global competition for talent has accelerated skilled labor mobility. More than half of the recent Asian migrants in OECD countries are highly educated and they represent an important contribution to the skilled workforce in OECD countries. For instance, Asian migrants accounted for more than 70 per cent of skilled workers under the United States H-1B specialty programme. |Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ | 39
G20 labour markets
T he commitment by G20 countries to boost GDP by over two per cent by 2018 will not help in reducing ‘large employment gaps’ that remain in most G20 countries. A joint study by International Labour Organization (ILO), Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and World Bank Group has revealed income inequality continue to ‘widen’ across the G20, a mix of the world’s largest advanced and emerging economies representing about two-thirds of the world’s population, 85 per cent of global GDP and over 75 per cent of global trade. 40 |Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ |
G20 countries are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the US and the European Union. The study noted: “Seven years after the onset of the global financial and economic crisis, the economic recovery may be strengthening but remains weak and fragile. The em-
ployment challenges across most G20 countries are still very sizeable both in terms of a persistently large jobs gap and low quality of many available jobs.” “The current growth trajectory, if unchanged, will not create enough quality jobs - giving rising to the risk that the jobs gap will remain substantial, underemployment and informal employment will rise, and sluggish growth in wages and
G20 countries need more and better jobs as a foundation for sustained growth and the wellbeing of their societies
incomes will continue to place downward pressure on consumption, living standards and global aggregate demand. Underlining these challenges is the fact that income inequality continues to widen across the G20 countries.” It concluded: “The G20 commitment to boost GDP by more than two per cent by 2018 over and above the baseline projections is certainly a welcome step, although it will be important to ensure that this additional growth is job-rich and inclusive. Policy interventions that address both the demand and supply sides of the labour market are essential to reverse the current self-reinforcing cycle of slow growth, low job creation and low investment. By supporting consumption demand, better wages and earnings and social protection can indeed pro-
Wage growth has significantly lagged behind labour productivity growth in most G20 countries
vide incentives for investment in productive capacity and accelerator effects on capital spending and thus further job creation.” “The current situation calls for strong and well-designed employment, labour and social protection policies to address both cyclical and structural challenges, applied in conjunction with supportive macroeconomic policy mixes. The effectiveness of such policies would greatly increase if actions are taken collectively at the G20 level in a coordinated manner.”
Modest economic recovery
The report noted that despite a modest economic recovery in 2013-2014, economic growth is expected to remain below trend with significant downside risks over the foreseeable future.
Persistent slow growth will continue to dampen employment prospects, while the employment intensity of growth has also been weakened in many countries. Despite some small improvement recently, the jobs gap is projected to remain substantial in several G20 economies until at least 2018. Coinciding with the sizeable jobs gap is deterioration in job quality in a number of G20 countries. Real wages have stagnated across many advanced G20 and even fallen in some. Wage growth has significantly lagged behind labour productivity growth in most G20 countries. Wage and income inequality has continued to widen within many G20 countries, although progress has been made in a few emerging economies. Working poverty has declined in many emerging G20 countries, notably China, although informal employment remains a major obstacle to improving job qual|Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ | 41
The rate of youth unemployment declined in many countries but still remains at historically high levels in some
ity, particularly in emerging and developing countries. Stronger economic growth is a necessary but not sufficient requirement for strong job creation.
In the advanced G20 economies, large jobs gap and stagnating wage income have constrained both consumption and investment as sources of aggregate demand. In the emerging G20 economies high levels of under-employment and informality undermine both current consumption and potential output and productivity growth in the long-term. G20 countries need more and better jobs as a foundation for sustained growth and the wellbeing of their societies.
In the last 12 months, the majority of the G20 countries have witnessed a modest reduction in the unemployment rate, with some exceptions (Australia, Italy, Korea and Turkey). These positive developments were largely due to welcome net job creation, especially in the US, but in some cases resulted in part from declines in the labour force participation rate (Argentina, Brazil, Spain and the US). The rate of youth unemployment declined in many countries but still remains at historically high levels in some. 42 |Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ |
The US, Germany and Saudi Arabia, among others, have also launched initiatives to establish or increase minimum wages in order to address working poverty and inequality
The weak global economic growth observed since the financial crisis has been associated with even weaker employment growth in most G20 countries, so-called jobless growth, although with wide variations. Consequently large jobs gaps have persisted in several G20 countries. Despite some small improvement recently in several countries, the G20 jobs gap is projected to remain substantial until at least 2018, particularly in advanced G20 countries.
The deep global financial and economic crisis and slow recovery in many G20 countries has resulted not only in higher unemployment but also in slow and fragile wage gains for G20 workers. On average, the crisis brought down the growth rate of average real wages to about one to two per cent.
The stagnation in wages cannot be explained solely by weak economic growth. This trend also reflects a widening gap between growth in wages and labour productivity. In a number of G20 countries, and particularly in emerging economies, there are two important elements which deserve special attention. With respect to working poverty, emerging G20 economies have made tremendous progress in reducing both extreme working poverty (below the $ 1.25 poverty line) and moderate working poverty (between $1.25 and $2 per day). Overall, an estimated 447 million workers in emerging G20 economies were extremely or moderately poor in 2013, a reduction by half since 1991. Taking into account these nearpoor workers, some 837 million workers in emerging G20 countries—over half of the work-
Large jobs gaps have persisted in several G20 countries force—were either poor or just above the poverty line in 2013. Policy efforts in many G20 countries, particularly emerging G20, have addressed income inequality and the vulnerability of low income households, through measures such as minimum wages and social protection. Yet the ratio of the minimum wage relative to the average wage declined in four countries. The US, Germany and Saudi Arabia, among others, have also launched initiatives to establish or increase minimum wages in order to address working poverty and inequality. Japan has encouraged significant wage increases through collective bargaining and other wage setting processes as a key component of its effort to fight deflation. In emerging economies, a broad strategy of labour market and other measures is also required to tackle the high incidence of informal
work. Innovative policies to tackle informal work have been developed by Argentina, Brazil and Turkey and are proving effective. The examples of countries which have made sustained progress on curbing informality show the need for coordinated policies across a range of issues.
Increased labour participation
Increased labour force participation is another significant longterm determinant of growth, since increased supply of any factor of production raises potential output. At the same time, it is essential to
distinguish between labour force participation and employment participation. Despite progress in many G20 countries in access to education and quality of education outcomes, skills shortages and mismatches remain widespread. Basic education, training and lifelong learning foster a virtuous circle of higher productivity, more and better employment, growth and development.
Most G20 countries have experienced increased inequality in recent years as a result of factors which may include technological change, globalization, the expanded share of the financial sector in some economies and less progressive tax and transfer policies in some countries. There is no magic or universal formula for creating productive, quality jobs. Effective policies are highly dependent on the specific needs and priorities of each country as well as their institutional and fiscal capacity. |Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ | 43
Eurozone The dynamics of migration A study by Deutsche Bank Research has asserted that
almost the entire Euro zone, which faces a period rapid population ageing, needs more immigration of labour from outside the continent. From a demographic point of view, the intra-Eurozone mobility is a zero-sum game. after a marked surge, intra-eurozone migration is likely to have peaked. As the gradual recovery in the peripheral countries is very likely to continue, the growth of emigration from there should have come to a halt. However, immigration will remain low in the periphery as long as the labour market situation there does not change fundamentally.
Eastern Europe is likely to remain high for the time being.
In the core countries, especially Germany, immigration from Central and
The strengthening of Germany as the growth engine of the eurozone is also
In Germany, the number of registered foreigners from the EU grew by 40,000 from January to April 2014 from 29,000 during the same period last year. The freedom of movement restrictions were abolished at end2013.
beneficial for the peripheral countries. Even though the peak might have been reached, intra-eurozone migration is likely to remain high as so many young Europeans have successfully dared to seek work abroad and thus may become role models for others. This is good news as intensified labour mobility can foster stability and growth in the EU and promote European integration. The study noted that overall adjusted net migration to the eurozone fell from 1.6 million in 2003 to 0.68 million in 2012. From 2008 to 2012 net migration from non-EU countries to the GIPS countries (Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain) decreased from 286,000 to 108,000. In contrast, Italy has remained a gateway to the EU.
Changing migration patterns
Due to the crisis, migration patterns within the eurozone have changed fundamentally. While prior to the crisis many citizens from Central and Eastern European EU countries migrated to Spain and other peripheral countries, the westward migration is now primarily directed to the core. 44 44 |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai|November |November٢٠١٤ ٢٠١٤||
In the EU adjusted net migration strongly declined between 2007 and 2009 and has only slightly recovered since then
The UK and Germany, with the latter now immigration country number one in the EU and number two in the OECD, have benefited most from the new trends. While in Germany in the 2000s net migration was small at 96,000 per annum on average and even negative in 2008 and 2009, it jumped to 437,000 in 2013. The increase in migration flows in the EU has been accompanied by an increase in the migrants’ education level. The percentage of intra-European Monetary Union (EMU) migrants that were highly educated increased seven per cent between 2005-6 and 2011-12, from 34 per cent to 41 per cent. The share of highly educated migrants from the GIPS moving to other euro member countries even went from 24 per cent of the total to 41 per cent.
Eurozone migration acts as a sensible adjustment mechanism in the labour markets. In Germany it contributes to the reduction of bottlenecks in the market for qualified labour like engineers and doctors. In the GIPS it functions like a safety value. In Spain, for example, the unemployment rate would be 34.3 per cent instead of 26.1 per cent in 2013, if there had been no change in migration trends. Free movement of workers is one of the key rules governing the EU internal market. From an individual’s point of view, the freedom of choice of workplace is tantamount to a basic right, although member states might not have codified it accordingly. From a macroeconomic point of view, open labour markets are a precondition for the efficient use of labour and thus a major instrument to foster growth and employment in Europe. The EU’s rules have stipulated the free movement of labour in substance since 1968. Today, EU citizens have the right to move to other member states and work there on the same terms as nationals. In hiring staff the discrimi-
nation of applicants from EU partner countries would be illegal, for example. As there is no rule without an exception, the free movement of workers can be restricted. However, such restrictions can only be applied for a maximum of seven years following the accession of a new member state. According to the so-called 2+3+2 model, restrictions currently effective until mid-2015 may be prolonged until mid2020.
For ageing Europe, migration is a major source of population dynamics. However, in the EU adjusted net migration strongly declined between 2007 and 2009 and has only slightly recovered since then. At 685,000 in 2009 net migration was scarcely half as high as in the six years from 2002 to 2007 prior to global financial market and economic crisis and later eurozone crisis. |Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ | 45
A renewed uptrend started in 2010, triggered by the euro crisis and the EU enlargement in 2011
cided with the beginning of a marked upturn in immigration. In 2013, Germany has reported the largest surplus (437,300) since 1993 when the country still benefited from the fall of the Iron Curtain.
From 2002 to 2007 Spain and Italy registered net migration from nonEU countries totalling 2.488 million and 1.292 million, respectively. Although the recent crises have impaired net migration to the EU and the eurozone their major result was a marked change in migration patterns within both areas. The combined effect of decreasing immigration from outside the EU and from Eastern European EU countries as well as intensified emigration has impaired the population dynamics in the periphery. The decline in the dynamics of the eurozone periphery migration contrasts with the development in other countries. The most interesting examples are the UK and Germany. Britain has experienced two major waves of immigration in the past ten years. The first hike resulted from the EU enlargement in 2004 and lasted until 2008. A renewed uptrend started in 2010, triggered by the euro crisis and the EU enlargement in 2011. Since 2010 the UK has also experienced intensified labour immigration 46 46 |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai|November |November٢٠١٤ ٢٠١٤||
from the GIPS. National data from Ireland and Spain also indicate intensified emigration to the UK and decreased immigration from there. In Germany the emergence of the crisis in the eurozone periphery coin-
Although the concurrence is striking, it should be kept in mind that in May 2011 and on January 1, 2014 Germany had to open its labour market to immigrants from the EU-8 and the EU-2, respectively. Only since then has Germany fully participated in the redirection of migration flows in the EU and the eurozone.
Net migration in France held steady over the last few years, hovering at around an adjusted surplus of 62,000
The majority of the eastern immigrants are Poles, Romanians and Hungarians. Primarily due to the surge in immigration from its EU partners, Germany is now the second-largest immigration country in the industrialized world, trailing only behind the US. In France, more than 60 per cent of non-EU immigration comes from countries in Africa. Among these, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Mali account for the majority, indicating France’s still strong ties to its former colonies and protectorates.
In reference to intra-EU migration, 33 per cent of France’s foreign population in 2010 (or 1.8 million) hailed originally from the EU – with Portugal, Italy and Spain making up 11 per cent, six per cent and five per cent of the total immigrant population, respectively. Overall net migration in France held steady over the last few years, hovering at around an adjusted surplus of 62,000.
One of the factors driving these shifts is the increasing aggregate education level over the last decade. The average population with a tertiary education rose from 19.5 per cent in 2004 to 24.7 per cent in 2013. Among the peripheral countries, Portugal has seen the largest increase in the number of graduates, rising 59 per cent in the last decade, followed by Ireland and Italy at 44 per cent and 43 per cent, respectively.
The average population with a tertiary education rose from 19.5 per cent in 2004 to 24.7 per cent in 2013
Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg have all also seen net migration surpluses since the beginning of the crisis. Although they are small in comparison to the euroarea heavyweights, the impact of migration on their local populations is significant. Highly educated migrants from the GIPS moving to other euro member countries went from 24 per cent of the total in 2005-6 to 41 per cent in 2011-12. Among these migrants, the highly skilled percentage of the total that found work rose from 27 per cent to 49 per cent.
|Manafez Dubai |November ٢٠١٤ | 47
Talent War will be the next World War F or me, global mobility is the ability for
a citizen of one country to transplant himself elsewhere.I myself am I a dual Irish/American citizen, which means that I can live in any of the 26 Schengen countries, the UK and Ireland, the US, and a handful of other countries with minimal effort. In essence, I can choose between which government – and concurrently, in which country I’d like to live – similar to how one chooses which smartphone to buy.
By Liam Boogar Co-founder and CEO Rude Baguette
We have already begun disassociating between country, company and citizen. The Startup Revolution has demonstrated that a small amount of people with a large drive can large amounts of change – two PhDs from Stanford who would go on to build Google, a college drop-out who would build Apple with his friend in a garage – the future in government competition is about Talent. Smarter people produce more revenue, produce more taxes, and produce more jobs. This alignment between people and taxes is higher than it has ever been, thanks largely to the Internet. Governments have been increasingly working on Talent Visas and the increase in globally present Internet companies mean that, should they want to, Google, Microsoft, Apple and others can get you a visa into almost any country that you want - citizenship no longer matters if these companies decide you’re ‘worth it.’
Excerpts from his column on France’s Start up blog http://www.rudebaguette.com
48 48 |Manafez |ManafezDubai Dubai|November |September |November٢٠١٤ ٢٠١٤||
In Europe, many governments have already overtly named large tech
multinationals as competitors – they’ve declared war on their ability to attract talent, to optimize their revenue, and their ability to circumvent regulation that affects local incumbents. Governments aren’t just competing with each other; they are competing with companies who can circumvent their authority. Lean Government looks a lot like a Lean Startup - Learn, Build, Measure. Lean Government manages only that which it deems critical to society and regulates only that which it deems could potential impede that which it manages. Lean Government scales up its ability to appease its citizens. Today, there are few examples of a government that is 100 per cent aligned with its citizens – citizens interests are constantly evolving, and no government moves fast enough to keep up with that. The growing sentiment that ones’ government does not represent their interests is largely due to how quickly society is moving in the Internet Age, and how slow government has been to adopt, adapt, and adjust. Citizens want, more than ever, convenience. They want to live wherever they think most represents their desires. They want to work wherever they want to live. The barriers of communication, travel, distance and government which used to force concession no longer exist, and consumers will dictate the terms of the next era.
More jobseekers could mean continuing disinflation to popular belief, Europe’s C ontrary workforce is likely to grow more
quickly than the US, but the proportion of its workforce willing to work – its participation rate – is shrinking. The opposite is true of the eurozone. The fall in the participation rate in the US is the largest in the developed world – far exceeding many countries whose activity levels remain below pre-crisis levels. In Spain, for example, when key breadwinners lost their jobs, other family members sought work, meaning its unemployment rise partly reflects increased participation. An ageing population puts downward pressure on participation rates as people retire. Yet while Europe’s changing population structure should have pushed down participation rates, in most parts they have risen. This divergence may reflect the US and European governments’ different responses to the crisis: Europe’s fiscal problems made the state less generous. There has also been progress in reducing some of the European labour market’s notorious structural rigidities. The European Commission wants more reforms: its ‘Europe 2020’ plan sets EU countries an ambitious 75 per cent employment target. However, participation rates will have to rise considerably further to meet this target. Outside Germany, fewer than half the eurozone’s over-55s worked before 2008: now generous public-sector earlyretirement schemes and retirement ages are changing.
Europe 2020 broadly emulates the Hartz reforms, implemented in the early 2000s when Germany was the ‘sick man of Europe’ with high unemployment. The reforms used carrot and stick to boost participation, reducing extremely generous welfare payments and their payment periods while helping the long-term unemployed back in to work. If Europe 2020 is as effective as the Hartz reforms the impact could be massive. But if it fails to raise participation rates, the working population would fall by more than two per cent by 2020 while the US would see a 3.5 per cent rise.
By Karen Ward Senior Global Economist HSBC
Europe 2020 broadly emulates the Hartz reforms, implemented in the early 2000s when Germany was the ‘sick man of Europe’ with high unemployment. But if reforms see eurozone participation rates match Germany’s, the eurozone workforce would instead rise almost seven per cent by 2020, double the US growth. Increasing labour participation among the over-65s to Norwegian levels would lift the eurozone workforce by almost 13 per cent. Switching so many workers from inactivity to unemployment would significantly increase the jobless rate if there weren’t sufficient jobs. In Germany the reforms led to a boom in ‘mini jobs’ – highly flexible part-time contracts used by cost-sensitive servicesector employers.
Excerpts from HSBC Global Banking and Markets analysis
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