The Independent - 12 July 2019
Dhaka to form body to negotiate signing FTA with Malaysia
Bangladesh will form a committee to negotiate signing Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Malaysia. The information was revealed yesterday at the ‘Showcase Bangladesh-Go Global’ at the Royale Chulan Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi inaugurated the showcase as the chief guest.
State Minister for Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Imran Ahmed, Deputy Minister for International Trade and Industry (MITI) of Malaysia Dr Ong Kian Ming, Bangladesh High Commissioner to Malaysia Shahidul Islam, Acting High Commissioner of Malaysia in Dhaka Amir Farid Abu Hasan, Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA) President Benjir Ahmed and BMCCI President Syed Moazzam Hossain delivered speeches on the occasion.
There were three sessions in the daylong showcase – “Globalization – Prospect of Emerging Economy Session”, “Trade: Prospects and Opportunities in Bangladesh” and “Challenges and Opportunities of Skilled Human Resource for Overseas Employment from Bangladesh”.
Tipu Munshi said the government is thinking about signing the FTA with Malaysia. At a session, former Bangladesh Bank governor Dr Atiur Rahman also recommended signing FTA immediately to boost bilateral trade and investment relations between the two countries.
BMCCI President Syed Moazzam Hossain said a committee will be formed as early as possible to negotiate the FTA between the two countries. “Bilateral trade between the two countries will boost up after the signing of the FTA,” he added.
He informed that the BMCCI has also proposed to the Malaysian government to take a special economic zone for setting up their factories in Bangladesh.
Supporting proposed FTA, Executive Director of Policy Research Institution (PRI) of Bangladesh Ahsan H Mansur said the both countries trade should come under FTA.
He also said there are certainly opportunities of bilateral trade between Bangladesh and Malaysia to grow much faster.
Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi urged the Malaysian entrepreneurs to invest in Bangladesh’s special economic zones (SEZs) as the government is providing all sorts of policy supports to the investors in those zones.
“The Malaysian businessmen may take the opportunity of investing in different sectors of Bangladesh. The sunset industries of Malaysia may be shifted to Bangladesh. Malaysia may take a dedicated economic zone in Bangladesh where only the businessmen of Malaysia may invest,” he said.
In the last decades, Tipu Munshi said, the socio-economic status and geopolitics of both the countries, Bangladesh and Malaysia, changed considerably. “We have expanded our trade and investment significantly. “However, we have enormous opportunities to expand our trade and economic ties,” he added.
He believed that there are a number of sectors and initiatives where both the countries may engage for a win-win benefit.
“Bangladesh has opened up its windows for the foreign investors. The diplomatic relations and partnership between Bangladesh and Malaysia now reached a higher level,” he added.
The commerce minister informed that one hundred SEZs are being established in Bangladesh and the investors may invest here.
Imran Ahmed said Bangladeshi labour has been playing a vital role for long in the economic development of Malaysia. “The Bangladesh government is providing special focus on creating skilled labour force. Malaysia can bring more skilled manpower from Bangladesh,” he added.