Boosting bilateral business ties
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.