Najib confident of stronger Malaysia-India ties


Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak has expressed confidence that his two-day working visit to India to attend the Asean-India Commemorative Summit would raise Asean-India and Malaysia-India relations to greater heights.

He said many matters would be raised and discussed at the summit, among them investments, connectivity, security and geopolitical considerations.

“If my last visit resulted in long-term investment commitments of RM158 billion, I am confident the current visit will take Asean-India and Malaysia-India relations to greater heights,” he said in a video clip uploaded onto his Facebook account yesterday.

Najib said despite a tight schedule during his visit, he was confident that all the scheduled events would go on smoothly.

This is Najib’s fourth visit to India after taking over as the prime minister in 2009. The last one was less than a year ago, from March 30 to April 4 last year, and it took him to Chennai, Jaipur and New Delhi. The current visit is also at the invitation of his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.

The Asean-India Commemorative Summit is being held in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the Asean-India Dialogue.

Besides Najib, the leaders of the nine other Asean countries — namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam — are also attending the summit.

All of them will also attend India’s 69th Republic Day parade today as chief guests.

Separately, Bernama reported SME Corp Malaysia has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with India’s National Small Industries Corp (NSIC) to help entrepreneurs benefit from business opportunities in the two countries.

SME Corp CEO Datuk Dr Hafsah Hashim said Malaysian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) had been urged to look at opportunities in India following the signing of the agreement.

“This is the beginning of the journey for Malaysian SMEs to penetrate the Indian market. For the Indian companies, Malaysia can be a regional hub for entering Asean markets,” she told Bernama.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed and Indian Minister of State for Micro, SMEs Giriraj Singh witnessed the signing ceremony.

Malaysian and Indian companies also signed three MoUs in the areas of green technology, artificial intelligence and herbal products.

Meanwhile, SME Corp, NSIC and the Asean-India Business Council (AIBC) plan to organise a seminar in Kuala Lumpur in August to promote cooperation among SMEs.

Datuk Ramesh Kodammal, co-chairman of AIBC, said the council was working to bring 100 firms from India, as well as a large number of people from Asean to promote cooperation among SMEs.

“This is going to be a major networking platform for SMEs from the two countries,” he said.