India – Malaysia CEO’s Forum underscores need for greater B to B exchanges

New Delhi [India], April. 1 : The India - Malaysia CEO Forum underscored the need for greater B to B exchanges, regular meetings of the CEO Forum and organizing trade and investment promotion events as there exists knowledge deficit on the opportunities available in both countries.

Bilateral trade between Malaysia and India stood at USD12.8 billion in 2015-16, as against USD 16.9 billion in the previous year while leaders from both side have expressed their aspiration to see this trade increase to USD 15 billion in the immediate future, according to a statement.

The total investments from Malaysia stood at around USD7 billion or more as against total investments of around USD2.5 billion from the Indian side.

There has also been a surge in Malaysian private sector initiatives in India, particularly in the infrastructure sector.

According to Malaysia's Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), as on date, Malaysian companies have completed 53 highway (and) road projects worth RM 9.3 billion (US (Dollar) 2.84 billion) in India.

In addition, there are 7 projects valued at RM 1.1 billion (US (Dollar) 0.34 billion), which are still under construction.

At present, there are around 120 Indian companies including 61 Indian joint ventures, 7 Indian Public Sector Undertakings and 60 Indian IT companies operating in/from Malaysia.

Their areas of operation are manufacture of Textiles and Yarn, Drugs and Pharmaceuticals, Glass containers, Automobile associated activities, Specialty Chemicals, Steel Furniture, Rubber Products, Services in Information Technologies, Education, Biotechnology, Healthcare, etc.

The need for fresh investments by public and private sector companies from both sides, in the identified sectors in the two countries was emphasized in the form.

In this regard, CEO Forum noted that some hand holding would be needed, which can be provided by Invest India on the Indian side and MIDA on the Malaysian side.

Both sides also noted that companies can also look for the possibility of joint-venture in each other's countries or third countries specially in the ASEAN region.

They underlined that the private sector initiatives had to be encouraged to take the investment relationship to the next level.

The CEO Forum identified key sectors for further cooperation and as well as the next steps required to boost bilateral economic cooperation.

These included infrastructure, healthcare, education, Civil Aviation and Tourism, It was suggested that to facilitate the recommendations that an India-Malaysia Education Dialogue be set up.

The Forum members also recognized the strength of India in English-language education and recalled the draft MoU being negotiated between the two sides to recruit Indian teachers for English-language education in Malaysia.

Source: ANI