Boost­ing bi­lat­eral busi­ness ties

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food prod­ucts, tech­no­log­i­cal as­sis­tance and man­power, en­hanc­ing bi­lat­eral trade would be a win- win sit­u­a­tion for both.

Due to the per­fect blend of a vi­brant cul­ture and lat­est tech­nol­ogy, the boom­ing tourist in­dus­try of Malaysia serves as a ma­jor at­trac­tion for For­eign Di­rect In­vest­ment ( FDI), and there­fore the global man­age­ment con­sult­ing firm A. T. Kear­ney has de­scribed Malaysia as the tenth most at­trac­tive lo­ca­tion for FDI. Such re­sources could also be chan­nelised to re­ju­ve­nate the tourist in­dus­try of Pak­istan.

Malaysia’s ter­tiary and higher ed­u­ca­tion has gained im­mense recog­ni­tion over the past few years. It has suc­ceeded in at­tract­ing many Pak­istani students to Malaysian col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties. Such cul­tural ex­change and close in­ter­ac­tion be­tween in­di­vid­u­als of both nations will help in re­mov­ing many gaps and, in the long run, pro­mote friendly ties. It will also trans­form into busi­ness re­la­tion­ships. Such ties would help en­sure in­creased joint ven­tures and in­vest­ment both in Pak­istan and Malaysia.

Ap­prox­i­mately 65,000 Pak­ista­nis visit Malaysia an­nu­ally and around 50 of them tend to join Malaysia My Sec­ond Home ( MM2H) scheme. The scheme al­lows one to be­come a Malaysian res­i­dent for 10 years. Since Pak­istan too has ac­cess to this scheme, the coun­try must fully avail ev­ery em­ploy­ment, busi­ness and Pak­istan’s con­struc­tion busi­ness by pro­vid­ing them tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance and shar­ing tech­niques for cost- ef­fec­tive pro­duc­tion. Malaysian com­pa­nies can join hands with the lo­cal work­ers to trans­form Pak­istan’s in­fra­struc­ture, par­tic­u­larly high­ways and air­ports.

Masood Khalid, Pak­istan High Com­mis­sioner in Malaysia, says that fre­quent busi­ness- ori­ented con­fer­ences and events must be held in or­der to pro­mote busi­ness ties. Fre­quent com­mu­ni­ca­tion with busi­ness­men, in­vestors, cham­bers of com­merce and me­dia would have a pos­i­tive im­pact on the ex­ist­ing bi­lat­eral trade and will also gen­er­ate fresh ideas. He also per­suaded many Malaysian in­vestors to take ad­van­tage of the ben­e­fits of the flex­i­ble poli­cies of­fered by Pak­istan by in­vest­ing in dif­fer­ent sec­tors, rang­ing from hous­ing and en­ergy to trans­port.

Pak­istan has an im­mense po­ten­tial for util­is­ing al­ter­na­tive sources of en­ergy, such as wind and so­lar power. How­ever, the lack of cap­i­tal along with tech­ni­cal guid­ance has al­ways been a hin­drance. two decades of im­port­ing palm oil from Malaysia, Pak­istan has be­come the sec­ond largest buyer of palm oil af­ter China. Al­though Pak­istan pro­duces oil and fats locally, the vol­ume is con­sid­er­ably low as com­pared to the de­mand and use of oil. Palm oil im­ports have reached $ 2 bil­lion.

To re­strain the bal­ance of trade in favour of Malaysia, Pak­istan must in­crease the vol­ume of meat, man­goes, rice and seafood ex­ports to Malaysia. Malaysia in­tends to im­port 200,000 MT of rice on an an­nual ba­sis from Pak­istan to meet their do­mes­tic re­quire­ments. The Pak­istan gov­ern­ment is also col­lab­o­rat­ing with the Rice Ex­porters’ As­so­ci­a­tion of Pak­istan ( REAP) to in­crease ex­port of rice to Malaysia. A Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing ( MoU) was signed be­tween the Ha­lal De­vel­op­ment Coun­cil ( HDC Pak­istan) and the Is­lamic Food Re­search Cen­tre in Asia, to fa­cil­i­tate the ex­port of Pak­istani meat to Malaysia. Other items that have showed con­sid­er­able in­crease in their ex­ports in­clude pota­toes, onions, maize and cot­ton. The ag­gre­gate bi­lat­eral trade has in­creased by 18.3 per­cent this year.

Be­sides these sec­tors, Pak­istan must co­op­er­ate with Malaysia in tech­nol­ogy trans­fer and learn more about green tech­nol­ogy. Fur­ther­more, in­creased com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the me­dia of the two coun­tries would also show pos­i­tive re­sults.

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