India keen on CECA with Malaysia: Ahluwalia

Monday, September 27, 2010

NEW DELHI - Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said Monday India is keen to ink a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement (CECA) with Malaysia to boost two-way trade and investment.

The two countries had a last round of the talks this month on the agreement, which is expected to be signed during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Kuala Lumpur next month.

The CECA is expected to facilitate the flow of trade and investment between the two nations further. The focus areas of cooperation include construction, road and transport management, information technology, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.

Malaysia has emerged as a major potential investor in India, with planned investments in power, oil refineries, telecommunication and electrical equipment industries, besides highway and other infrastructure development projects.

Also, there are more than 100 Indian companies, including 61 Indian joint ventures, operating in Malaysia now.

Ahluwalia, who is in Kuala Lumpur to take part in the World Capital Markets Symposium hosted by the Securities Commission of Malaysia, said India had looked at Malaysia’s economic transformation over the 30 years with great interest and admiration.

“With the signing of the India-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement earlier this year and with the India-Malaysia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) nearing finalization, the strong bilateral trade and investment relationship was poised to do even better,” he said.

Ahluwalia cited the building of Delhi’s new airport by an Indian-Malaysian joint venture as a shining example of this.

He sounded upbeat over the prospect of the recovery of the global economy saying it would be fuelled by emerging ones like those of India, China and Malaysia.

“Global economic recovery would be powered by growth in the emerging economies,” he said adding India’s GDP was expected to grow at 8.5 percent in the current financial year, with the International Monetary Fund even projecting 9 percent plus growth.

Ahluwalia called on Malaysia Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin HJ Mohd Yassin and Minister of International Trade and Industry Dato Sri Mustapa Mohamed.

During the meetings, he said India’s engagement with Malaysia was an important pillar of its “Look East” policy. India also saw Malaysia as an important gateway to ASEAN.

The Malaysian deputy prime minister responded to this saying that the Malaysian Government too was looking forward to receiving Singh at the earliest as the visit lead to identification of newer areas of mutually beneficial cooperation and collaboration.

Filed under: Economy

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