Bangladesh Community in Italy
Italy started to attract foreign immigrants from the beginning of 1980s. As a result of the profound economic and social changes induced by industrialization, low birth rates, an aging population and thus a shrinking workforce Italy needed more workforces that could be resourced by the immigrants. The welcoming attitude and flexible migration policies of the Italian government attracted aspirant Bangladesh nationals to migrate to Italy. The Government of Italy offered general amnesty in 1987, 1990, 1996. 1998, 2002, 2009, 2012 and 2020 to provide legal residence permits to illegal residents of different countries. As a part of the far reaching diplomatic initiatives by the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Bangladesh Embassy in Rome was established in January 1973 that paved the way for aspirant Bangladesh nationals to Europe. Due to continued efforts of the Embassy, the flow of Bangladesh nationals to Italy increased by manifolds. Bangladeshi nationals started to move from Bangladesh and other European countries to Italy in the early 1980s with a view to settling down here. Later on the family members of the immigrant Bangladeshi nationals joined them and the size of Bangladesh Diaspora expanded consequently.
According to the Italian Statistics Department - ISTAT, the number of Bangladesh Community in Italy is 1,48,389 (as of 01 January 2020). This is approximately 3.8% of non-EU citizens as a whole and ranks 7th for number of members among non-EU citizens. The employment rate stands at 65.1% with significant differences between the rates for men (86.2%) and women (10.6%). According to the Italian official data, Bangladesh ranks first among the countries receiving remittances from Italy. It may be mentioned that Italy hosts the 2nd largest Bangladeshi expatriate community in Europe after the United Kingdom (hosting more than 6,00,000)
The Embassy attaches much priority to support the community as well as interact and engage with them. His Excellency the Ambassador and other officers participate in a large number of community events throughout the year. Moreover, the Embassy observes most of the national events in presence of the community representatives from every corner of the Diaspora. The Embassy considers our community as a crucial link between Bangladesh and Italy that plays an important role in continued strengthening of bilateral relations between Dhaka and Rome.
Bangladesh Community in Italy secured the first position in sending remittances to Bangladesh in 2018 with over 706 million euros, equal to 14.4% of the total outgoing remittances (which was Euro 532.5 million in 2017 and Euro 486.5 million in 2016.