Demand for palm oil, rubber, timber in Bangladesh increased: Malaysian minister


Malaysian Minister for Plantation Industry and Commodities Zuraida Kamaruddin. Photo: Collected


Malaysian Minister for Plantation Industry and Commodities Zuraida Kamaruddin. Photo: Collected

Malaysia sees huge investment potential in Bangladesh, particularly in the palm oil, rubber and timber industries as demand for such commodities in Bangladesh has increased recently.

“Compared to December last year, imports of palm oil from Malaysia to Bangladesh have increased by 113 percent. Import volumes of other products such as timber and rubber have also increased,” said Malaysian Minister of Plantation Industry and Raw Materials Zuraida Kamaruddin.

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Bilateral trade between the two countries is worth more than US$2 billion, with Malaysia exporting US$1.5 billion worth of products annually.

Bangladesh’s burgeoning market of 180 million people and growing housing and construction industries is a good opportunity for Malaysia to invest in and also increase exports, Zuraida told a journalist at a press conference at a city hotel today.

Zuraida arrived in Bangladesh on February 23 after a visit to India to learn about the potential to boost bilateral trade and investment.

She met with the Prime Minister, the Trade Minister, the Finance Minister and the business community. Upon her return to Malaysia, she will also meet the Malaysian investors and convince them that Bangladesh is a lucrative investment destination.

Bangladesh has GSP facilities for the EU, it has duty-free access to India and China, and the country has a favorable foreign investment policy. Given all of these factors, it’s entirely possible for Malaysian companies to invest here, she said.

Bangladesh’s housing and construction sector is booming, building a lot of infrastructure, including roads, railways and highways. Malaysia has expertise in these sectors and can both increase its exports and let Malaysian companies invest here, she said.

“Some businessmen and ministers said they had land and Malaysian companies could partner or cooperate,” Zuraida said.

Malaysia can export wood, rubber and palm oil and have them processed here. Also, Malaysia can export finished products, she said.

On the other hand, Bangladesh can export textiles, shoes and foam products to Malaysia.

In June, Malaysia will host an agricultural commodities exhibition where foreign companies can meet and explore opportunities for partnership and cooperation.

Malaysian minister visits South Asia, Middle East and UK as part of post-Covid Malaysia export promotion.

When asked when Malaysia could open the market to Bangladeshi workers, she said it would start soon, but was unable to say.

She said her ministry is responsible for workers’ welfare but not for recruitment.

When asked about labor abuse, Zuraida said there weren’t many reports of abuse in the plantation industry.


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