Malaysia has reiterated its commitment to playing a constructive role in resolving the Rohingya crisis and extending support to Bangladesh in regional and international forums.
The issue came up for discussion at the second Foreign Office Consultations (FOC) between Bangladesh and Malaysia, held at the latter's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Putrajaya on Wednesday.
The Bangladesh delegation at the consultation was led by Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque, while the Malaysian contingent was led by the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Secretary General Ramlan Ibrahim.
At the meeting, the Bangladesh foreign secretary thanked Malaysia for its assistance with Rohingya related issues, such as in the establishment of a field hospital for treatment of refugees from Myanmar.
Bilateral trade, investment, and the employment of Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia were also among issues discussed at the FOC.
Both sides agreed to start negotiations on a preferential trade agreement (PTA) to further boost trade, the Bangladesh Foreign Ministry said through a press release.
The government-government plus (G2G+) mechanism between the two countries was praised at the FOC, as it has led to the reduction of costs for Bangladeshi workers going to Malaysia while also reducing the influence of middlemen. A total 98,800 workers have gone to the country from Bangladesh out of 122,000 applicants who were approved since the G2G+ mechanism was implemented, the Malaysian delegation said.
Furthermore, preparations for the upcoming 45th Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM), to be held in Dhaka in May, were also discussed at the meeting.