Bangladesh, Malaysia can benefit from reciprocal investments
Businesses in Bangladesh and Malaysia can benefit if they invest in each other's countries as both have opened their doors to foreign firms, according to various experts.
"All investments in Bangladesh are secured by law and full repatriation of dividends is allowed," said Syed Almas Kabir, president of the Bangladesh-Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BMCCI).
Kabir was addressing a webinar on "Exploring business opportunities in Bangladesh and Malaysia", jointly organised by the BMCCI and Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) yesterday.
Malaysian businesspeople can invest in leather, electronics and light engineering, automobile, plastic goods, agro processing, frozen food, pharmaceuticals, jute and jute goods, tourism and hospitality, financial and capital market, skill and human resource development, infrastructure and logistics, transport and healthcare, he said.
Bangladesh Bank has issued a circular allowing Bangladeshi businesses to invest in Malaysia. "We will also be able to contribute to Malaysia's development as the BMCCI is working to make it easier for local businesses to invest there," Kabir added. The BMCCI president went on to say that the government was establishing a special economic zone in Bangladesh where factories could relocate from Malaysia.
Haznah Md Hashim, Malaysian high commissioner to Bangladesh, appreciated the local economy's growth.
Bangladesh achieved healthy economic growth even amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and is recovering very fast from the fallouts, she said.
Besides, Bangladesh is a good destination for Malaysian investors as domestic consumption is growing in line with the country's economic growth, Hashim added. Amran Yem, senior director (export promotion and market access division) of Matrade, said Malaysian businesspeople need good local partners to work in Bangladesh.
"We are interested to invest in Bangladesh as there are vast opportunities between the two countries to boost trade and commerce," Yem said.
He pointed out that Malaysian investors were keen to invest in chemical and chemical product industries.
According to him, Bangladeshi investors could make use of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to invest in Malaysia.
Md Ariful Hoque, director (registration and incentives) of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority, said Bangladesh was offering import of capital machinery at only 1 per cent custom duty and zero value added tax.
Besides, the government is offering a 12-year tax holiday for foreign investors as well as easy access to work permits and visas, he said. Hoque said the government had created a welcoming environment for foreign direct investment, offering the opportunity to invest in almost any sector of the country.
Roswaidin Mohd Zain, director of Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), said Malaysia encourages investment in high value products.
While describing the investment opportunities in Malaysia, Zain said the best benefit of investing in the country was its strategic location at the heart of Asia.
He went on to say that Malaysia's business friendly policies and the fact that investors were allowed to pay for their full investment out of pocket were two major opportunities for investors.
Moderated by Motaher Hoshan Khan, secretary general of the BMCCI, the programme was also addressed by Mozaffar Shah Hanafi, trade consul of Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) Chennai.