PETALING JAYA: One of Indias leading industrialists says he is confident his country could cultivate a link with Malaysia through its diaspora here to establish a partnership in the petrochemical industry.
Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) president Dr A. C. Muthiah, who spoke to The Star at the Indian diaspora conference in New Delhi recently, said Malaysias oil and gas deposits could be jointly exploited.
Malaysia has the raw materials and India has the skills and technology. Therefore there are many possibilities. We can even explore the possibility of building a pipeline from Malaysia to India since we have a large market here, he added.
Dr Muthiah said the automobile industry could also be another area of co-operation, with Malaysian-made cars soldin India, provided there was a compromise on the tariff.
The business interaction between Malaysia and India had been minimal because we did not look at Malaysia as a viable industrial partner.
India traditionally looked at nations like the United Kingdom, the United States and Japan for industrial partnership, and business with Malaysia had mainly been in the construction sector and the import of palm oil and rubber, he added.
Dr Muthiah said that Malaysias small market was another factor why there was limited commercial exchanges.
To a question on the main purpose of the three-day Indian diaspora conference, he said: People of Indian origin in Malaysia and Singapore may not be interested in any emotional links with India anymore but the well-established and influential non-resident Indians (NRIs) domiciled in advanced economies are looking for their Indian roots.
They want to establish links with India and since our economy is very strong now, we want to open our doors to them as a land of opportunity, he said.