CECA to consolidate trade between India and Malaysia: Kamal Nath

November 26th, 2007 - 6:54 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Nov.26 (ANI): India and Malaysia are considering the negotiations for an India Malaysia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) from January 2008, said Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath at a seminar on Malaysia India Business Opportunities.
To take the trade and investment relations forward, India and Malaysia have set up a Joint Study Group which has recommended the establishment of a CECA, said Nath.
The Joint Study Group concluded that a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) between India and Malaysia would serve as a plausible institutional framework to provide significant economic benefits to both the countries, he added.
Malaysia ranks as the 23rd largest overall investor and the second largest investor from ASEAN with a total foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow 142.98 million dollars during the period August 1991 to July 2007, said Nath.
Indias exports to Malaysia during 2006 07 stood at 1.3 billion dollars and imports from Malaysia stood at 5.3 billion dollars, he said.
A recently concluded Joint Study has indicated that the two countries could catapult bilateral trade to 16 billion dollars by 2012.
Indias major exports to Malaysia include cathodes and sections of cathodes, meats and meat preparations, petroleum oils, onions and shallots, chemicals, cereals, yarns, garments, iron and steel, etc and major imports include petroleum oils, palm oils, electronic goods, wood manufacturers, chemicals and yarns.
Dato Seri Rafidah Aziz, Malaysia’s Minister of International Trade and Industry, said that Indian human resource has assumed a key role in Malaysias economic development as Indian nationals account for 19.6 per cent of the total expatriate in Malaysia. India is Malaysias ninth largest global trading partner and largest trading partner in South Asia amounting to Rs. 288.6 billion in the current year with a growth of 23.7 per cent over the previous year.
Four Indian projects have been approved with investments of Rs. 20,450 million from January to September 2007, said Nath. She said that paper, printing, publishing, fabricated metal products, chemicals and chemical products, basic metal and wood products have been major areas of investments bu the Indian companies.
Dato Aziz said that Malaysia is looking forward to collaboration with Indian institutions of higher learning for joint-research and research centres. On tourism, the Minister said that the MoU on Air Services signed on 13 September 2007 between India and Malaysia will provide further impetus for tourism and trade between the two countries as both countries can designate any number of airlines to operate between two countries and facilitates open skies agreement without any restrictions for all cargo services between Malaysia and India.
Malaysia and India have identified petroleum and gas, processed food, animal feed, petrochemical, oleo chemicals and medicine as potential sectors for intra industry. Trade and healthcare, education, IT and telecommunications, financial, tourism, architectural, construction and engineering, distribution and human resource development are other key areas for collaboration between India and Malaysia, said Dato Aziz. Indian investors should explore opportunities in medical devices, pharmaceuticals, construction services, biotechnology and new economic zones, said the Minister.
Talking on the Doha Round, Dato Aziz said that at the multilateral level, India and Malaysia must continue to engage effectively in the ongoing Doha Round for a successful and ambitious outcome to the negotiations.
Gautam Thapar, Chairman, CII University India Council and Chairman, Ballarpur Industries Ltd., said that India and Malaysia have a long standing relation for the last four decades. Indian PSUs have executed impressive projects in Malaysia. He added that Malaysia can be a hub for Indian conglomerate to act as a gateway to ASEAN countries.
On behalf of CII, Thapar proposed the formation of CII-CEOs core group that would undertake an annual visit to Kuala Lumpur and organise an India Malaysia Forum with partners like ASLI, MIDA, MATRADE and High Commission of India in Kuala Lumpur. CII and ASLI are jointly working on setting up an India-Malaysia CEOs Forum to provide Indian companies an experience of transformation of the Malaysian economy under Vision 2020, he added.
Monday’s seminar was jointly organised by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), here. (ANI)

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