Malaysia leading Asean-India talks on free trade area

  • Business
  • Thursday, 30 Sep 2004

NEW DELHI: Malaysia is leading the ongoing negotiations with India on the Asean-India free trade area, which is expected to cover trade in goods, services and investments. 

Malaysia External Trade Development Corp (Matrade) chief executive Datuk Merlyn Kasimir said this at a Malaysia-India business opportunities seminar, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Matrade on Monday. 

To create an expanded market base, Asean is engaged in strengthening and deepening its cooperation via free trade agreements (FTAs) with China, Japan and South Korea, he said in a report in the financial daily, the Hindu Business Line

Kasimir said Malaysia had also signed a trade and investment framework agreement (TIFA) with the United States, which would provide a platform to establish an FTA in the future. 

These developments, he said, would broaden opportunities for Indian companies to make Malaysia a base to manufacture and export its products and services to regional and global markets. 

Chennai, he said, had always been an important centre of trade between the two countries. 

In recognition of its importance, the Malaysian Government had established a trade office in Chennai in March this year. 

Matrade will also be coordinating a Malaysian Pavilion at the Second Chennai International Trade Fair next month. 

Thirty Malaysian companies will be represented at the pavilion, displaying products such a cosmetics, toiletries, confectionery, furniture, home appliances and automotive parts. 

Kasimir said in the first seven months of this year, exports from Malaysia to India grew by 22% valued at US$1.7bil, while imports from India into Malaysia grew by 130% to US$8.3mil. – Bernama 

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