India and Malaysia on Wednesday signed six pacts, with the accord for implementing the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) from July 1, 2011 being the centrepiece.

The agreements were signed at a ceremony presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Malaysian counterpart Md. Najib.

“I am confident that this agreement will transform our economic engagement in a substantive way,” observed Dr. Singh.

Comparing the CECA with the India-Asean Trade in Goods (TiG) agreement that was implemented from January 1, 2010, both the sides offer “Asean plus' market access in goods.

In Trade in Services, both the sides agreed on providing access to each others' services market across all modes and various sectors.

India and Malaysia would liberalise their respective investment regimes to facilitate greater Foreign Direct Investment into each other's territory.

Both sides would also finalise two-three other areas of economic cooperation from among infrastructure development, creative industries, tourism, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), business facilitation, science and technology, and human resource development, said official sources

The Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the traditional systems of medicine makes India the second country with which Malaysia has inked such a pact.

Due to the large presence of people of Indian and Chinese origin, Malaysia has a wide canvas of traditional systems of medicine, including the Malay herbal medicine.

The MoU will guide the existing rudimentary cooperation in a more focused manner and also streamline the existing practices in traditional systems of medicine to higher levels of acceptance by people of the two countries.

The MoU for cooperation in tourism would encourage the growing flow of visitors to both the countries.

India is the sixth largest source country for inbound tourism to Malaysia ( six lakhs in 2009) while Malaysia is the 10th largest (1.15 lakhs in 2008).

The MoU for cooperation in IT & Services would reflect the contemporary changes taking place in the field of IT and Services.

Separately, the two Prime Ministers announced the setting up of a Joint ICT Talent Development Consultative Committee to make specific recommendations to both the governments for IT skills training, talent development and greater engagement of the Indian IT companies in Malaysia.

Already, 60 Indian IT companies are present, including some from the top 10.

An agreement between the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the UNIK of Malaysia on Research and Development Collaboration will witness the setting up of a Joint Innovation Accelerator Centre in Malaysia to carry out research in green technology, water treatment and medicinal and aromatic plants.

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