Indo-Malaysian bilateral ties set to reach decisive turning point: Malaysian PM

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New Delhi, Jan. 22 (ANI): Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, who is on his first state visit to India, has said that Kuala Lumpur and New Delhi are set to reach a "decisive turning point" for an upswing in bilateral ties with a new framework touching on trade and investment, business opportunities in infrastructure, tourism and education.

"I think this could be a decisive turning point for an upswing in bilateral ties if we implement the decisions made. The full potential of bilateral ties is enormous," The Star Online quoted him, as saying.

After his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Razak said the stalled Malaysia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (MI-CECA), which would cover more areas than the ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement, was expected to be concluded by the end of the year.

"I have invited the Indian Prime Minister to make an official visit to Malaysia. We hope to sign the agreement during the visit," he said.

Razak said that there were plenty of opportunities for Malaysian companies to take part in India's 500 billion dollar infrastructure development over the next five years, and both countries were now negotiating a government-to-government memorandum of understanding to identify road and highway projects.

He added that Malaysia had agreed to jointly participate in sectors ranging from bio-technology, bio-science, ICT, education to pharmaceuticals.

Discussions were also held for a memorandum of understanding on tourism sector, as India - with its 250 million middle-class population - was a huge market, recording some 600,000 arrivals each year.

Razak also met Congress Party chairman Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi.

"Sonia Gandhi is not part of the government but the party is in power, so it is only right for me to pay a courtesy call on her. Today, I had discussions with Rahul who, as secretary-general, is its prime mover, to understand more about the party," he said. (ANI)

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