Dhaka, July 7 (UNB) – Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen on Sunday hoped that manpower export to Malaysia will reopen in August next as Kuala Lumpur is working on a “comprehensive understanding” to recruit workers afresh.
“Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is leading the process to determine how they’ll recruit manpower in the future,” he told reporters expressing the hope that the door will be reopened in August this year.
The Foreign Minister mentioned that manpower export to Malaysia from Bangladesh remains suspended since December last year.
Earlier in the evening, he had a bilateral meeting with Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah at State guesthouse Padma.
Both sides discussed wide-ranging bilateral, regional and international issues with much focus on Rohingya crisis as Bangladesh is seeking global efforts to resolve it peacefully.
“We gave much importance to Rohingya issue,” Dr Momen said adding that both the countries agreed that the safe and dignified return of Rohingyas to their place of origin in Rakhaine State is the only solution to the crisis.
He said Malaysia, as a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) is working in favour of Bangladesh to convince Myanmar to take their nationals back.
The Foreign Minister said they also discussed trade and investment issues apart from the possibility of signing FTA between the two countries.
Responding to a question, Dr Momen said Bangladesh expects the presence of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in a special event, either at the year-end or in March next marking the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The Malaysian Foreign Minister, who is now on his first trip to Bangladesh since assuming office last year, also visited the Malaysian field hospital and several Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar district.
In a statement, the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the visit will provide an opportunity to strengthen the existing warm and friendly relations between the two countries.
It will also further boost the bilateral cooperation as well as reaffirm Malaysia’s continued support to the government of Bangladesh in providing humanitarian assistance for the Rohingya refugees, the statement reads.
Bangladesh and Malaysia have substantial trade and investment relations with a two-way trade in 2018 valued at US$2.37 billion, a significant increase of 35.4 percent from US$1.75 billion in 2017, according to available data.
From January to April 2019, the trade increased by 2.7 percent to US$793.1 million as compared to US$771.5 million for the same period in 2018.
Among South Asian countries, Bangladesh is Malaysia’s second largest trading partner.