Rise in Pak-malaysia trade
Masood Khalid, Pakistan High Commissioner in Malaysia, has said that bilateral trade between Pakistan and Malaysia has reached US $ 2.8 billion, registering a 14 percent increase last year.
“We are happy that the bilateral trade has increased steadily but Pakistan’s share is only US $257 million which has tilted the balance of trade heavily in favour of Malaysia ... we’re looking to balance this gap by increasing exports to Malaysia, especially of rice, mangoes and beef,” he said.
Khalid said Pakistan would also like to invite more Malaysian companies to expand their business to Pakistan, especially in the construction industry and for exploring untapped business opportunities in fields such as gems and salt industry.
He said Pakistan was also looking to strengthen bilateral ties with Malaysia in education and manpower supply. “We have around 3,500 students in top universities in Malaysia and are hoping to increase it ... the majority of our students study in information technology, engineering and natural sciences.” He added that there was already an effort being made by the local Malaysian universities to pick up and groom talented Pakistani students for the local industry.
Nearly 38,000 Pakistanis are working in various industries in Malaysia, while Pakistan was willing to supply more skilled and semiskilled manpower to contribute towards Malaysia’s development.
Khalid said, “Besides interesting places, we have many similarities in our rich culture, food and language which we can use to boost our tourism industry. “Malaysia is more advanced than us regarding green technology and we’re looking for a way to cooperate in developing more green technology. We have a lot of green technology’s raw material like paddy husk.
“I would like to see more Malaysian journalists come to Pakistan to make the coverage and vice versa. The people in both countries want to know what happens in each other’s region. Besides the media, I would also like to see more linkage between think-tanks in both countries so that we can develop and go forward together.
“Our meat and beef are cheaper and Pakistan’s reserves of meat and beef are also sufficient. We have to work together to get Malaysian halal certificate and we don’t have any problem supplying halal food because we’re Muslim producers,” Khalid added.