Report on MEXPA’s visit to High Commission for the People’s Republic of Bangladesh

MEXPA’s representatives led by President Abdul Kabur Ibrahim met up with H.E. Atiqur Rahman (High Commisioner) Of Bangladesh Embassy on 22 June 2012. H.E. Atiqur Rahman welcomed the members and stated that he looked forward towards a working collaboration with MEXPA.

His Excellency spoke on various issues and made suggestions too. There was a strong discussion on education especially on medical students as only 4 universities were recognized and catered to meet medical student needs in Bangladesh. Main emphasis was also highlighted by the Ambassador on Training for skilled labor force

His Excellency looking forward at the education sector and proposed that MEXPA take efforts to get other medical universities to write in to Bangladesh government and propose for more Malaysia student in take into Bangladesh Universities. With a population of 150million, Bangladesh is a multiracial country with 85% Muslims and rest Hindu, Chinese and Buddhist.

President MEXPA Mr Kabur said that MEXPA is willing to cooperate and will welcome visiting delegates MEXPA was working closely with countries where there was no Malaysia MATRADE office. High Commissioner emphasized on 3 questions
1) What is that you can trade in Bangladesh at quality and price
2) What are the sectors and the investment margin
3) Business people – there are no boundaries (to get profit) how much profit?
4) What is in the market – of export and import
High Commissioner said the government was open and fully gave protection to start a business there was no restriction to send out money. High Commissioner said he was willing to assist MEXPA if a delegation was interested to visit Bangladesh. Meetings could be arranged with chambers, association etc in the proper way. H.E. stated that a showcase called showcase Bangladesh 2012 was being organized from 13-15 July 2012 at the Exchange Trade Centre (ETC) basement of Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur where Bangladesh representative Seminar, representative Business delegation, one to one meeting were arranged on Bangladesh good exhibit on Bangladesh items will be promoted.

The product category will be
• Banking & Insurance
• Cosmetic & Textiles
• Halal foods, Frozenfoods & Halal products
• Home textiles
• Hotel tourism
• Leather products
• Pharmaceuticals herbal products
• Readymade garments
• Real Estate Housing
• Agriculture products
In the construction sector, joint venture partners could visit Bangladesh and as a free zone, a trade activity can be recognized. A high tech school could be opened up. A private University could be established in Chittagong. It is cost effective and MOU is welcomed with MEXPA. High Commissioner welcomed training as an added expertise e.g. Vanto academy in Malaysia. His Excellency mentioned government could give training and added value programs. More skilled Labor Training was needed for Bangladesh. There were not enough trainers, His Excellency said.

High Commissioner emphasized that there were 4 categories that needed to be identified in Bangladesh and that was the Professor/ skilled/ semiskilled/ unskilled. Bangladesh was good at providing manpower and especially nursing & workers to the global world. High Commissioner spoke on Muslim community’s opinion on Halal that they were rather conservative and H.E. mentioned that the government was willing to allocate 200 meter of Chittagong beach and set up bars and Hotels.
Key Facts on Bangladesh
Official name: People’s Republic of Bangladesh
Political system: Parliamentary Democracy
Population: 152 million (est)
Area: 147, 570km2
Time Zone: GMT+6 Hours
GDP Total: USD 105 bill (FY2012-11)
GDP Per Capita: USD 22.92 billion (FY2010-11)
Total Exports: USD 33.66 billion (FY2010-11)
Total Imports: USD 0.913 billion (FY 2010)
FDI Inflows: USD 10.91 billion (June, 2011)
Forex Reserve: Chittagong & Mongla
Major Maritime Ports: BDT (1BDT = USD 0.01434) (Avg FY June, 2011)
Major Cities: Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Sylhet, Rajshahi, Barisal & Rangpur

Bangladesh is winning combination with its competitive market, business-friendly environment and competitive cost structure that can give business people best returns. It is:
• Industrial low-costs workforce
• Strategic location, regional connectivity and worldwide access
• Strong local market and growth
• Low cost of energy
• Proven export competitiveness
• Competitive Incentives
• Export and Economic Zones
• Positive Climate

Competitive Sector of Investment
Under the Prime Minister Office (PMO) Board of Investment is the apex investment promotion and facilitation agency of Bangladesh. It offers wide-ranging services to the investors beginning from the conceptualization to product marketing advice.

Agro- based Industry
• Fresh Fruits & Vegetables
• Cooked/ Semi Cooked Food Items
• Canned Juice
• Dairy and Poultry
• Livestock and Fisheries

Industry Incentives
• Specially arranged Equity Entrepreneurship Fund for development of agro-based industry
• Special loan facilities available to set up an agro-based industry
• Agro-based industry enjoys tax holiday
• Any investment in this sector will enjoy similar tax concession as are available in other sectors
• Imposition of supplementary duty on mango, orange, grape, apples, dates and others to utilize the high quality and cheaper local resources.
• Cash incentive to exporters ranges from 20% in various sub-sectors.

Bangladesh citizens have brought in new technology as many have migrated to other countries. H.E. explained that MEXPA could further support and was willing to assist our business people do business in Bangladesh.

Report prepared by;
Puan Sevaran Kaur JP
State rep. (NS)/ Liaison officer of MEXPA

Posted in Activities.