PM: Malaysia is India’s gateway to Asean


Malaysia is India’s gateway to Asean and beyond, leveraging on the strong links between the two countries, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak.

He said since 1998, India has been Malaysia’s largest export destination in the South Asian region and over the last decade, trade has increased by more than four fold.

“India is currently Malaysia’s 10th-largest trading partner, our seventh-largest export destination and our 11th-largest source of imports,” he said in his keynote address at the Economic Times Asian Business Leaders’ Conclave in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

He said India is also currently Malaysia’s 20th-largest investor, with total investment worth US$2.31 billion (RM9.45 billion).

“On the other hand, Malaysia is ranked 21st-largest foreign investor in India and second-largest from Asean,” he said.

Najib said the strategic par tnership establ ished between the two countries in October 2010 has built upon the traditionally close relationship and taken it to the next level by infusing it with even greater dynamism.

“Malaysian entrepreneurs and companies are now engaged in taking advantage of the huge economic and investment opportunities in India, particularly in infrastructure,” he said.

He said among the Indian states that Malaysian companies are active in are Rajashtan, Telegana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

Najib said as Malaysia and India are participating in the the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, both countries would be part of an area that contained nearly 50% of the world’s population and account for nearly 40% of the global trade once the mega trade pact is concluded.

“So, both countries are not just prepared, but also determined to take Asia to the globe,” he said.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Indians have played a vital role in building the country, as they have always been at the forefront of governance, civil service, business, entertainment, education and food production, said the prime minister.

Najib said without the community, Malaysia simply would not be what it is today, and they were the reason why it was so natural for Malaysia and India to forge ever closer and friendlier relations.

“The Malaysian Indians are a crucial part of our unique diversity, and their cultures and faiths help make up the rich and varied tapestry of our nation — many races and religions, but one Malaysia.

“Recognising their contributions, we launched the Malaysian Indian Blueprint in April this year, and I am confident that this 10-year plan will play a key role in empowering all sections of the Indian community in Malaysia,” Najib said in his keynote address.

The two-day conclave, organised by India-based The Economic Times, gathered together thought leaders and government and business leaders from all around Asia to further the cause of greater economic integration between emerging and leading countries in this region.