CHENNAI: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has invited India’s entrepreneurs to take advantage of the huge business opportunities available in Malaysia.
The Prime Minister said that being in the same Asian region, Malaysia and India’s futures were very much interconnected.
“Our economies are complementary and we share common interests in regional stability and prosperity.
“Economic and trade relations between Malaysia and India have grown from strength to strength – in fact, trade increased more than four-fold over the period of 2003 to 2015.
“That has been helped by healthy and close political and business exchanges at the highest level. Our relations with India continue to be important and high-profile," he said in his address to a gathering of South Indian captains of industry and representatives from leading chambers of commerce and industry here on Friday.
The get-together with the PM was organised by the Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MAICCI).
Also present was MAICCI president Tan Sri Kenneth Eswaran.
Najib said that last year, Malaysia was Chennai’s ninth largest export destination and seventh largest source of imports.
He said Malaysian companies such as Tune Hotels, IJM Corporation and UMW Corporation have also been expanding their operations in India.
“Our two-way relationship is further strengthened by bilateral and multilateral agreements such as the Malaysia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, or MICECA, and the Asean-India Free Trade Area, or AIFTA.
“With its eventual implementation, there will also be the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, which also includes China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
“RCEP offers immense potential for trade and investment growth through reduction of barriers, better market access and deeper economic integration. This strategic trade agreement will also enhance overall economic competitiveness and business connectivity in the region.
“With the conclusion of RCEP in the near future, we would like to encourage more Indian investors to leverage on Malaysia’s strategic location, either by setting up regional establishments to serve related companies in the region, or by using Malaysia as their launch pad to penetrate the Asean market, the seventh largest economy in the world,’’ he said.
Najib urged Indian businesses to take advantage of the wealth of opportunities offered by Malaysia.
“We are a friendly country with the highest percentage of the Indian diaspora outside India, with 7% of our population being of Indian origin. The vast majority of them are Tamilians. The market is open for your business and ideas," he added.