THE Penang government today warmly welcomed the interest expressed by Bangladesh to collaborate even closer in the future, particularly in the field of information technology and engineering.
High Commissioner of Bangladesh in Malaysia Md Golam Sarwar, during a courtesy call on Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow at his office in Komtar today, said that Bangladesh as a young and growing country, is keen to partner with Penang, exchanging talents for mutual growth of the two countries.
Chow said Penang is always open to partnering with Bangladesh, and areas such as information technology and engineering would be the two most immediate and relevant fields to discuss on.
“In order to compete and stay relevant among the many countries with highly-skilled workforces, we have to look at regions beyond Malaysia.
“This is to help us exchange work ethics and models which will at the end of the day, bring even greater success and level us on par with international standards,” Chow said.
Meanwhile, Golam said that in the last 10 years or so, Bangladesh has improved immensely in various economic sectors, mainly sustaining a gross domestic product (GDP) of 6%.
“Our country is heading towards becoming a knowledge-based hub, and ongoing efforts are showing good signs of realising the goal.
“Almost 70% of our population here are under the age of 35. We have a young and hardworking group of young people that have been performing well so far in multiple sectors.
“The Bangladesh government is also planning to build 100 economic zones and 28 high-tech parks in near future. These efforts will further help enhance our presence on the international stage,” Golam added.
He also said that currently Bangladesh has 50 public universities and 100 private universities.
While he expressed hopes that Bangladesh would be keen to match the demands that Penang would require in relevant sectors, he was quick to also propose to the Penang government to have a discussion with the Federal Government to introduce a policy support to retain talents from Bangladesh in Malaysia.
“Most of them either go back to Bangladesh or other European countries, so in order to retain and tap into the much-needed expertise they possess, we need a policy support between both the countries,” he added.
Also present during the visit were honorary consul of Bangladesh Datuk Shaik Ismail Allaudin and Bangladesh High Commission counsellor Md Rajibul Ahsan.
Story by Kevin Vimal
Pix by Alissala Thian