Vol. 5 Num 659 Wed. April 05, 2006  

Free access of local goods to Malaysia sought
Malaysian delegates meet DCCI leaders

Business leaders yesterday sought duty and quota-free market access of all Bangladeshi products to Malaysia to narrow the huge trade gap between the two countries.

They said as Bangladesh is enjoying free market facilities from many countries, Malaysia can also provide Bangladesh with the same facility, they observed.

They were speaking at a meeting between the visiting Malaysian investment delegation and the leaders of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) in the capital.

Addressing the meeting, DCCI President MA Momen said it is necessary to reduce the trade imbalance for a healthy and long-term growth of trade and economic co-operation between the two countries. "And for narrowing the trade gap that is in favour of Malaysia, Bangladesh also needs duty and quota free access to Malaysia," he said.

He also said in 2003-04, Bangladesh's export to Malaysia was US$8.65 million, which increased to $9.12 million in 2004-05 and imports increased from $254.41 million to $275.98 million over the same period. "So, we had a trade deficit of $266.86 million in 2004-05," Momen added.

Highlighting different investment packages offered by the government, he invited the Malaysian entrepreneurs to invest in power and energy, telecoms, infrastructure, education, health and tourism sectors.

The DCCI president also said Cox's Bazar Sea Beach of Bangladesh is the largest sea-beach in the world and Malaysia can invest here in tourism sector.

Leader of the Malaysian delegation Soong Siew Hoong said they have acquired knowledge of modern technologies over the past 30 years. "Now we would like to share it by making joint ventures with Bangladeshi entrepreneurs in different prospective sectors," he said.

DCCI Vice-president Hossain A Shikder, directors MH Rahman, Manzur Ur Rahman, Sayed Habibur Rahman, Safina Rahman, KMH Shahidul Haque and Sabur Khan, among others, also spoke at the meeting, said a DCCI statement.

An 11-member Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (ACCCIM) delegation arrived here Sunday on a four-day visit.