TAMIL NADU

Chennai–Kuala Lumpur Business Council mooted

Malaysian Minister of Federal Territory and Urban Wellbeing Raja Nong Chik bin Raja Zainal Abidin (left), having a word with T.T. Ashok, deputy chairman, CII, SR . and S. Abhayakumar, Chairman, CII Chennai Zonal Council at the CII meeting in Chennai on Wednesday. Photo: V. Ganesan

Malaysian Minister of Federal Territory and Urban Wellbeing Raja Nong Chik bin Raja Zainal Abidin (left), having a word with T.T. Ashok, deputy chairman, CII, SR . and S. Abhayakumar, Chairman, CII Chennai Zonal Council at the CII meeting in Chennai on Wednesday. Photo: V. Ganesan  

Malaysian Minister says it will promote trade

Malaysian Minister of Federal Territory and Urban Wellbeing Raja Nong Chik Bin Raja Zainal Abidin on Wednesday mooted the idea of setting up Chennai – Kuala Lumpur Business Council to promote bilateral trade.

At the dialogue session organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Mr. Nong Chik Bin said the Malaysian capital was well positioned to service the ASEAN market and China with which his country has strong economic and cultural links.

As Malaysia also has strong cultural ties with India, especially Tamil Nadu, the new business council would further bilateral relations.

The council should be ideally in place when the Prime Minister of India visits Malaysia by the end of this year when the Mayors of the two great cities will sign an MoU for collaboration, he said.

Stating that he had informal discussions with NASSCOM and CREDAI, the Malaysian Minister said the informal discussions should lead to a formal set up — a business council — to support and promote trade. Admitting that the trade between the two countries had come down in the past two years due to the global economic recession, he said renewed ties could scale it up. Sharing of information on investment opportunities through the council would enhance business partnerships, he said.

As the proposed business council would have the full support of the Malaysian government, the Tamil Nadu government should empower the council to achieve greater success, said M. Saravanan, Deputy Minister, Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing. Chennai stands to benefit more than Kuala Lumpur, he said.

The Malaysian delegation will discuss the details with Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Thursday.

CII Southern Region deputy chairman T.T. Ashok said the potential for expanding relations between the two countries was yet to be fully tapped given India's high requirements in infrastructure, construction, management, electrical and electronics which were the strengths of Malaysian economy. India's plans to spend $1 trillion in building power plants, roads, highways, ports, airports, railways and communication networks in the five years to 2016-17 will open up huge opportunities.

Malaysian industry must reach out and be part of India's growth story, Mr. Ashok said.

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