Ties high on Najib's agenda for first Bangladesh visit

Ties high on Najib's agenda for first Bangladesh visit

DHAKA - Enhancing bilateral ties between Malaysia and Bangladesh will be the top priority during the first visit of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to Bangladesh today.

The three-day official visit will see Najib inaugurating the Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib Memorial Hospital and Nursing College, Wisma Putra said.

It was reported that Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had extended the invitation to Najib during the UN General Assembly in September.

The hospital, which was named after the late mother of the Bangladesh Prime Minister, will be managed by KPJ Malaysia.

High Commissioner of Malaysia to Bangladesh Norlin Othman said the two leaders would also discuss measures to implement the existing memorandum of understanding on recruitment of workers between the two governments.

"The state of good relations between Malaysia and Bangladesh is reflected in the fast-growing bilateral co-operation spanning a broad range of sectors including economic, technical assistance, trades and employment of the Bangladeshi workforce in Malaysia.

"Last year, we signed an MoU with Bangladesh to take workers specifically from the plantation sector.

"The Government will ensure that the rights of Bangladeshi workers will be protected under the existing MoU. The aim is to eliminate the middleman," she said.

The Prime Minister's visit to Bangladesh underlines the importance of the relationship, including to boost opportunities in various sectors such as medical tourism and education.

"Although there are no pressing issues that need to be resolved, Malaysia aims to strengthen cooperation as both countries share many similarities including religion, culture and tradition," said Norlin.

Malaysia, she said, was the third largest investment partner of Bangladesh among the South Asia countries after India and Pakistan, with Malaysian companies investing about RM558.86 million (S$217 million) last year in the telecommunications, power generation, textile and financial sectors.

Najib, who is also Finance Minister, is due to leave Dhaka for Kuala Lumpur on Nov 19.

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