KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is exploring the possibility of sourcing raw sugar from India starting next year as a way to enhance bilateral trade with the country, said Primary Industry Minister, Teresa Kok.
Additionally, Malaysia is mulling on importing more buffalo meat from India to meet the increasing local demand, she said.
“Malaysian companies are encouraged to import more products by leveraging the preferential treatment accorded under the Malaysia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, ” she said in a statement.
The announcement was made following an inter-ministerial meeting involving senior officers from the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Trade and Industry Ministry, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry, Transport Ministry and Domestic Trade and Consumers Affairs Ministry yesterday.
Besides enhancing bilateral trade with India, the meeting also discussed reducing the trade imbalance which is currently in favour of Malaysia.
This was the second senior officials’ inter-ministerial meeting following Kok’s discussion with India’s Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal, in August this year in New Delhi.
She said the decision to increase imports from India was in recognition of the fact that the country was Malaysia’s third-largest export market for palm oil and palm oil products in 2018, with an export value of RM6.84bil – accounting for 10.1% of total palm oil and palm oil product exports in 2018.
She said her ministry was concerned over recent news reports regarding unfavourable bilateral relations between Malaysia and India, as both countries have enjoyed strong and comprehensive relations for more than six decades.
“These strong multifaceted ties have been mutually benefiting the people in both countries, and Malaysia is open to further trade negotiations to address India’s concerns on the trade imbalance, ” she added. — Bernama
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