Malaysia PM asks Indian businessmen to invest in biosciences, information technology

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

NEW DELHI - Visiting Malaysian Prime Minister Mohammed Najib Tun Abdul Razak on Wednesday met representatives of Indian corporate sector in the national capital and asked leaders of the Indian corporate sector to invest in Malaysia in areas of biosciences and information and communication technologies (ICT).

The Malaysian PM also addressed Malaysia-India Business Forum at a meet hosted by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

“Malaysia on the other hand needs expertise in ICT (Information and communication technologies), I was so impressed with Bangalore when during my last visit especially visiting the campuses of Infosys, I told myself it is not India… Your expertise in biosciences is something we want to encourage, the fauna, the flora of that magnitude and diversity in Malaysia can be harnessed to get potential with the partnership of Indian companies. It makes us sense therefore to look to India as a key provider of the biosciences, ICT as well as education,” said Mohammed Najib Tun Abdul Razak.

The Malaysian PM also urged India to conclude an under-negotiation comprehensive bilateral Free Trade (FTA) pact by the year-end.

“The Malaysia Indian Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement is vital for us to conclude. I would like it concluded by the end of this year if possible and the combination of that would be a visit, a return visit by Manmohan Singh to Malaysia to sign an agreement in Kuala Lumpur,” he added.

Malaysia and India started negotiations on the bilateral FTA in February 2008.

Razak also stressed on the need of expanding scope of ASEAN-India free trade agreement, which has come into force on January 1, 2010 and covers only goods.

“A parallel agreement is being organised at the regional level which we want to finalise. The ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement, also covering trade-in-goods only, came into force on the first day of this month for ASEAN and India. If I may suggest, let us also fast-track those negotiations and conclude the other two limbs of the agreement-covering services and investment by August this year,” said Razak.

India and ASEAN signed the long-awaited FTA last year. Under the agreement ASEAN and India will lift import tariffs on more than 80 percent of traded products between 2013 and 2016.

Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday (January 19) on a five-day state visit accompanied by a high-powered delegation comprising Malaysian ministers, lawmakers, business delegates and other officials.

India and Malaysia are expected to sign over a dozen bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding (MoUs) during this visit. (ANI)

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