Malaysia-India trade on course to hit RM45.6bil

KUALA LUMPUR: Bilateral trade between Malaysia and India has bright prospects to hit US$15bil (RM45.6bil) this year, Indian High Commissioner to Malaysia Vijay K. Gokhale said.

He said that the movement of goods and services between the two countries registered a record US$12bil (RM36.5bil) last year.

Total trade between Kuala Lumpur and New Delhi in 2010 was US$7.1bil (RM21.6bil).

With the full implementation of the India-Malaysia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), it would be relatively easy to attain the US$15bil target this year, Gokhale said.

He, however, said the global economic climate must remain stable and continue growing to realise the two-way trade goal, initially slated to be achieved in 2015 under CECA.

“Malaysia and India’s economy are poised for growth. Despite the economic slowdown last year, India was regarded as one of top five fastest-growing export destinations for Malaysia.

“Exports from Malaysia recorded about US$7.5bil (RM22.8bil), a 33% jump from 2010,” he told Bernama on the sidelines of the flag-raising ceremony at the Indian High Commission here to mark India’s 63rd Republic Day celebrations.

Gokhale said although the movement of goods and services was still in Malaysia’s favour, India’s exports also grew last year.

This year, Malaysia can expect more investments from India as many major corporations have declared interest, through the high commission, to establish bases in Malaysia.

“The enabling framework through the free trade agreement gives a lot of provisions and new facilities to facilitate fresh investments.

“Last year, there were new investments, which came from Biocon Ltd, India’s top listed biotechnology company, and Manipal University, which will set up its branch in Negri Sembilan.

“Not only Indian companies, Malaysian companies too will continue to acquire business opportunities in India,” he said.

Gokhale also said tourists flying in from India to Malaysia were expected to increase this year from some 700,000 visitors last year. “Certainly, Malaysian tourists to India will also grow,” he added. — Bernama

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