The members of the Board of Directors of Bangladesh-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BMCCI) led by its President, Nasir A. Choudhury paid a Courtesy Call to the Hon’ble Foreign Minister Mr. Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali, M.P. on Sunday. The BMCCI Chief in a Memorandum submitted to the Minister has highlighted the facts that (i) Malaysia is a major source country of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Bangladesh, (ii) is a major destination of our manpower exports, and (iii) a significant trade partner of Bangladesh. Bangladesh attracted Malaysian FDI to the tune of US $3.37 billion, so far. The total value of trade between the two countries last year amounted to US 2,002.21 million most of which represented our imports from Malaysia, our exports to Malaysia being a very small amount of US 100.11 million. This suggests, as the Chief of BMCCI rightly pointed out, that there remained a huge scope for us to increase our exports to Malaysia.
BMCCI, therefore, put forward a number of recommendations in to order to narrow down existing trade gaps, increase FDI from Malaysia and to remove barriers for increasing our manpower exports to Malaysia. The recommendations include the following:
To undertake initiative to make Bangladesh as the major source country for Manpower Export to Malaysia.
To increase cooperation and full support of Bangladesh High Commission in Malaysia for successfully organizing 3rdShowcase Bangladesh 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
To strengthen the Labour & Commercial wing in Bangladesh High Commission in Malaysia.
To organize seminars in Malaysia on investment opportunity in Bangladesh.
To create awareness amongst the Malaysian investors about the competencies of products and services of Bangladesh.
To start immediate negotiation and seize the opportunity to send maximum number of workers against their present demand of 1.1 million.
To undertake initiative to obtain the permission the Central Bank of Malaysia for opening exchange houses of Bangladeshi banks to bring remittance in legal way by bringing the Bangladeshi workers ‘on the grid’.
To undertake initiative with the cooperation of the Commerce Ministry to sign FTA with Malaysia by ensuring the best interests of Bangladesh.
To establish Bangladesh as a lucrative hub by illustrating our recent progress from an agricultural to industrial economy.
The BMCCI president further mentioned that a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) could attract greater FDI leading to Malaysian Manufacturing units relocating to Bangladesh to take advantage of lower wage costs.
Bangladesh-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BMCCI) is going to organize the 3rd Showcase Bangladesh 2014 in Kuala Lumpur. The showcase will be held on 14-16 November 2014 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) in collaboration with Bangladesh High Commission in Malaysia, Malaysia South-South Association (MASSA), Malaysia External Trade Development Cooperation (MATRADE), Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA) and supported by Chambers of Commerce of both the countries.
The Minister gave a patient hearing and assured to provide all possible support to increase Bangladesh’s export to Malaysia. He thanked the BMCCI leaders for their appreciable roles in promoting bilateral trade relationship between Bangladesh and Malaysia. He assured his ministry’s all out support to all BMCCI activities.
Among others, Director General Ashud Ahmed and Director Shah Asif Rahman from Ministry of Foreign Affairs and BMCCI Vice President A.S.M. Mainuddin Monem, Hony. Treasurer, Syed Almas Kabir, Directors Helal Ahmed Chowdhury, Engr. Mohammad Badrul Hsssan, Yesmin Ipphat, Secretary Hasanur Rahman Chowdhury were present during the meeting.