Vol. 5 Num 351 Wed. May 25, 2005  

Dhaka-KL jt commission meet to discuss trade, manpower

Investment, trade, manpower, visa, education and cultural cooperation will figure high in the long-overdue Bangladesh-Malaysia Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) to be held here on June 7.

An official of the Foreign Ministry told the news agency yesterday that the forthcoming JCM will review the entire range of bilateral relations and discuss ways to expand cooperation in potential sectors of the two Muslim countries.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamad bin Syed Jaafar Albar will arrive in Dhaka on June 6 to attend the 3rd JCM being held after a long break. Bangladesh Foreign Minister M Morshed Khan will lead the host side.

The Bangladesh-Malaysia Joint Commission was set up in 1992 for cooperation in economic, trade, investment, science and IT sectors.

The long-overdue JCM is an important move to strengthen bilateral economic cooperation. As a fellow member of the OIC and an exponent of Muslim ummah, Malaysia can come up with more prospective move to boost cooperation in all fields for mutual benefits, the foreign ministry official hoped.

The two-way annual trade, amounting to more than US$300 million, is heavily inclined towards Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur exports goods worth more than US$300 million to Dhaka against Dhaka's paltry US$16-17 million worth export.

Malaysian investment that stands around US$100 million is mainly in telecommunications and power sectors. It also has an investment in capacity building in the fisheries sector here under an OIC project.

Malaysia wants to invest in low-cost housing projects and power sectors in Bangladesh.

On the other hand, Bangladesh, among others, is interested to send more workforce to Malaysia. Some 1.13 lakh Bangladeshi workers are now employed there.