BD-Malaysia FOC begins today

Dhaka,  Sun,  23 July 2017
Published : 14 May 2017, 20:50:52
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BD-Malaysia FOC begins today

Trade, investment top agenda
FE Report


The first foreign office consultation (FOC) between Bangladesh and Malaysia begins in the city today (Monday) to explore areas of cooperation mainly trade, manpower and investment between the two friendly countries.

Foreign Secretary Mohammad Shahidul Hoque will lead the Bangladesh side while Secretary General Ramlan Ibrahim the Malaysian side in the meeting set to begin in the evening.

Diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of both the countries including director general and representatives from the ministries concerned mainly commerce, home and expatriate will attend it.

MoFA sources said being the first-ever meeting, focus has been given to identify areas of common interests so that the existing friendly relations can be strengthened further.

They said as both the countries have common interest in trade, manpower export and investment, these would get main focus in the meeting.

"A memorandum of understanding or an exchange of note is also likely to be signed in the FOC," said an official.

Bangladesh and Malaysia have a wide range of areas of cooperation but trade, investment, security and manpower export get focus despite having a huge trade gap, immigration hazards, security of workers and sending more workers.

"We have now very good relations with Malaysia due to development in export market and sending workers under government-to-government arrangements. So, efforts have been made to strengthen the relations further," said an official preferring not to be named.

He said reduction in huge trade gap is an important agenda.

Bangladesh-Malaysia trade reached US$ 1.15 billion mainly for importing Malaysian products and investment in the country. Bangladesh's exports to Malaysia recently increased, but its volume did not exceed $ 150 million.

Despite having G-2-G arrangements between the two countries and some relaxations in visa processing, sources said there are reports on harassment of workers and immigrants having valid documents.

Bangladesh and Malaysia have a common platform in some regional and international forums including Commonwealth of Nations, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Developing-8 and Non-Aligned Movement which might come up for discussion in the meeting.

    smunima@yahoo.com
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