Malaysia wants economic pact with India by end 2010

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Kuala Lumpur, July 9 (ANI): Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has revealed that his country would like to have a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) with India signed by the end of this year.

The Star quoted Razak as saying that he would like to see the CECA made official by the time his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh visits Malaysia in November.

"Talks which have been going on for five rounds need to be completed as this (the signing of the agreement) will be the highlight of his visit to Malaysia," he said when addressing Indian Government officials and businessmen at a Malaysia-India seminar on strategic partnership here yesterday.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma is at present in Malaysia with an Indian delegation.

Najib said the negotiations should not be a zero sum game but rather lead to a win-win outcome for both sides.

"It is possible for us to achieve equitable outcome," he said.

Besides CECA, both governments are also working on a Framework for Strategic Partnership to boost bilateral relations to a higher level.

The framework is an over-arching agreement to oversee bilateral relations on various fronts, including economic, security and people-to-people engagements.

Najib also announced the establishment of the much awaited Malaysia-India CEO Forum comprising captains of industry from both countries to serve as an advisory body in efforts to accelerate and deepen bilateral economic relations.

On investment figures, the Prime Minister said the first five months of the year saw the total bilateral trade between the two countries grow over 11 percent on a year-on-year-basis.

India is Malaysia's 12th largest trading partner and 11th biggest export destination. Malaysia is India's 13th largest export country. (ANI)

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