Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, addressing the inaugural session of the Bangladesh Trade and Investment Summit 2016 in Kuala Lumpur requested the Malaysian government to award duty free market access for its products to boost trade ties between the two countries. As the trade balance between Bangladesh and Malaysia is always in favour of Malaysia.
The Commerce Minister called upon the Malaysian investors to undertake new investment ventures in fast growing manufacturing, services and infrastructure sectors. Relocation of labour-intensive industries in the textile and accessories, agro-processing industries and other Small and Medium Industries from Malaysia might be the most promising options.
Malaysia and Bangladesh stand as natural allies. Closer cooperation in investment and trade between the two countries would bring immense impact on the development of their economies.
The Commerce Minister said that the present government has undertaken an initiative to designate 100 Economic Zones throughout the country, where as of now 22 zones are selected where 19 are in the public sector and 3 are in the private sector. Malaysia can take the advantage of this opportunity and select an Economic Zone for Malaysian business.
Bangladesh is encouraging foreign investment and investors are welcomed to benefit from the incentives provided by Bangladesh. Bangladesh is becoming a regional hub where activities relating to assembling, manufacturing, trading and services are gaining prominence. The Board of Investment (BOI) and Bangladesh Export Processing Zones (BEPZA) are also providing institutional support services to the prospective investors.
Bangladesh has also been moving fast to undertake restructured reforms to create most friendly business environment under a market driven economy, with the major thrust coming from the private sector.
Tofail said that they strongly believe there are potential of more Bangladeshi products for Malaysian market. Bangladeshi Commodities like raw jute & jute sacking, leather & leather goods and other products have better market prospect in Malaysia.
The Commerce Minister said Bangladesh is one of the most open economies in South Asia with an extensively liberalised trade and investment regime. "We've been vigorously pursuing a private sector driven export-led growth strategy."
The Malaysian Deputy Minister said that the proposed FTA would certainly add momentum to the current trade relations. It'll be mutually beneficial for more access to each other's markets for goods and services, and investment and removing barriers to doing business.
High Commissioner Shahidul Islam said that Malaysia is Bangladesh's important partner and laid emphasis on working together.
The event was supported by Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA), Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA), Public Private Partnership Authority Bangladesh, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and High Commission of Malaysia in Bangladesh.
In 2014-2015, export from Bangladesh to Malaysia was US$ 140 million while import from Malaysia to Bangladesh was US$ 1.2 billion. In 2015-2016, export from Bangladesh to Malaysia was US$ 190, which is an indication of a strong trade relation between the two countries.
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