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Bangladesh 2nd largest trading partner of Malaysia: Envoy

Staff Correspondent . Chattogram
19 Mar 2023 00:00:00 | Update: 19 Mar 2023 00:08:52
Bangladesh 2nd largest trading partner of Malaysia: Envoy
Speakers at a roundtable discussion organised by Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) and Bangladesh-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry at the World Trade Centre in Chattogram city on Saturday – Courtesy Photo

The Malaysian government wants to enhance cooperation by increasing investment in Bangladesh to build a smart Bangladesh by 2041, Malaysian high commissioner to Bangladesh Haznah Md Hashim has said.

Mentioning that Bangladesh is the second largest trading partner of Malaysia, the high commissioner said, “I believe that close relations exist between the two brotherly countries since the independence. As a developing country, Malaysia has always been a development partner of Bangladesh.”

The envoy came up with the comments while speaking as the chief guest at a seminar in the port city on Saturday.

The Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), in collaboration with the Bangladesh-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BMCCI), on Saturday held a round-table discussion titled “Catalysing Private Investment for Vision 2041: Opportunities for the Private Sector in a Smart Bangladesh” at the World Trade Center in the port city.

Haznah Md Hashim was present as the chief guest while CCCI President Mahbubul Alam, BMCCI President Syed Almas Kabir, CCCI Vice President Syed Mohammad Tanveer, CCCI ex-president Engineer Ali Ahmed and CCCI Director Mahfuzul Haque Shah and Mohammed Akther Parvez, Managing Director of PHP Automobiles Ltd, spoke on the occasion.

Among others, Chamber directors Md Ahid Siraj Chowdhury (Swapan) and Mohammad Nasirul Alam (Fahim) and Bangladesh House Building Finance Corporation Chairman Dr Md Salim Uddin were also present.

Chairman of Policy Exchange of Bangladesh Dr M Masrur Reaz presented the keynote paper.

CCCI President Mahbubul Alam said the main objective of Vision 2041 is to transform the economy of Bangladesh into a self-reliant and sustainable economy where there will be ample employment opportunities for our people.

“There is no alternative to increasing private investment to achieve this goal. To this end, the government has invested heavily in building infrastructure, especially in the logistics and utility sectors. The biggest beneficiary of this mega infrastructure development will be the private sector. So, if the private sector investment is not increased, these infrastructures will cause serious financial concern for our country,” he added.

BMCCI President Syed Almas Kabir said, “At present, we export ready-made garments, vegetables and leather products. BMCCI and CCCI are jointly trying to increase business between Malaysia and Bangladesh.

“Digital Bangladesh has now been established. If we want to build a smart Bangladesh, we need to create smart manpower and make the official activities smarter,” he added.

PHP Automobiles Ltd MD Mohammed Akther Parvez, in his speech, said, “Everything is Dhaka-centric when it comes setting up an industry. Travelling between Chittagong and Dhaka takes a lot of time. Therefore, if the business can be simplified by decentralising the activities of various government departments, investors will be encouraged.

“At present, we bring Proton car parts from Malaysia, assemble them in Bangladesh and export them to Nepal as there is enough demand for the Proton cars in Nepal.”

He emphasised on formulating an automobile policy.