Conclude CECA by year-end: Malaysia

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gurcharan Kaur welcome Malaysian Prime Minister Mohd. Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Wednesday. Photo: R.V. Moorthy  

Malaysian Prime Minister Mohammed Najib Tun Abdul Razak on Wednesday suggested that a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) with India be concluded by year-end to tap opportunities in biosciences, ICT and education, besides raising funds from the capital market.

“I will reiterate to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh the imperative need to conclude the CECA by this year-end and invite him to Malaysia to the sign the bilateral agreement.”

Mr. Razak was addressing captains of trade and industry at a meeting organised here jointly by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India.

The CECA, he said, would spur bilateral trade and investment and create job, investment and economic opportunities for the people of the two countries. “On our part, we will do all that is necessary to fast-track negotiations.”

For the ties to be binding and meaningful, it was imperative to have strong people-to-people relationships, Mr. Razak said. He proposed that steps be taken to establish a bilateral CEO Forum of senior business leaders who could exchange views on subjects of common interest. The forum would help to strengthen the trust and confidence among participants and identify new areas of cooperation between India and Malaysia.

Mr. Razak said that to deepen people-to-people relationships, Malaysia intended improving its visa regime to facilitate the travel of businessmen and tourists. He called for improving connectivity through additional flights to either country and elsewhere around the world.

Mr. Razak assured the business leaders that the Indian request for opening a commercial bank branch in Malaysia would be given due consideration.

HSBC Country Head Naina Lal Kidwai referred to the large number of Memorandums of Understanding signed between the two countries and said these would help to bring them closer and identify new areas for further collaboration.

Tata Communications Chairman Subodh Bhargava pointed out the vast scope for robust exchanges in infrastructure development and cooperation in boosting knowledge industries. Higher education, he said, was a major area of cooperation and mutual recognition of qualifications could be part of the proposed CECA.

Mr. Bhargava also saw huge opportunities emerging in the manufacturing sector.

Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 12:24:06 AM |

Next Story