The free trade agreement (FTA) between India and Malaysia will come into effect from July 1, 2011, giving Indian professionals like accountants, engineers and doctors access to the key Southeast Asian nation. The India-Malaysia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) envisages liberalisation of trade in goods, trade in services, investments and other areas of economic cooperation.

Similarly, exports of items such as basmati rice, mangoes, eggs, trucks, motorcycles and cotton garments will attract lower or no duty in Malaysia, thus giving Indian exports a boost.

Sensitive sectors like agriculture, fisheries, textiles, chemicals and automobiles have been given protection from imports without duty or with significant cuts.

The CCEA will facilitate temporary movement of business people, including contractual service suppliers and independent professionals in accounting, architecture, engineering services, medical and dental, nursing and pharmacy, computer services and management consulting.

Trade between India and Malaysia has reached $10 billion in 2010-11, an increase of 26 per cent over the previous year.

It is expected that the implementation of this agreement will boost bilateral trade to $15 billion by 2015.

The CECA also facilitates cross-border investments between the two countries. It creates an attractive operating environment for the business communities of both countries to increase bilateral trade and investment.

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