Malaysian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Haznah Md Hashim has said a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Bangladesh and Malaysia will significantly benefit their respective businesses and effectively prepare their economies to tackle future challenges.
"In fact, Bangladesh is Malaysia's 19th largest trading partner and ranked second among South Asian nations. Bangladesh is also Malaysia's 16th largest export destination," she said.
In a message on the occasion of the 66th anniversary of the National Day of Malaysia that falls on August 31, the High Commissioner welcomed genuine Bangladeshi tourists to continue to visit Malaysia, not only for leisure but also for medical tourism.
Malaysia offers advanced medical facilities and skilled healthcare, she said, adding that Malaysia has also emerged as an educational hub, attracting students from Bangladesh who seek world-class education in a diverse and inclusive environment.
"I wish to call upon all Malaysians residing in this beautiful country of Bangladesh, to embrace this spirit of Merdeka and this year's theme Malaysia MADANI: Tekad Perpaduan Penuhi Harapan [determination in unity, fulfilling hope]," said High Commissioner Hashim.
On 31 August 1957, 66 years ago, Malaya [which is now Malaysia], was proclaimed independent from the United Kingdom by the late Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia.
On this historical day and with the word Merdeka chanted 7 times, a new sovereign and independent nation was born.
Emerging from the shadow of COVID-19, Malaysia managed to attract foreign investment (FDI) amounting to RM879.1 billion at the end of 2022 compared to RM782.0 billion at the end of 2021.
Malaysia's trade volume in 2022 has also recorded a new achievement by reaching RM2.8 trillion which was recorded as the fastest growth since 1994 at 27.8 percent, said the High Commissioner.
"I am also proud to reiterate that Malaysia was the first Muslim nation to recognise Bangladesh as a sovereign nation with the formal establishment of diplomatic relations on 31 January 1972," said the envoy.
Since then, she said, a "brotherly relations" has been maintained and developed that so many of them enjoy today.
Malaysia under the leadership of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, and Bangladesh, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will therefore continue to actively engage in various fields, said the High Commissioner.