Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Oct. 27 (ANI): Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said that his discussions with Malaysian counterpart Najib Tun Razak have laid the ground for evolving a multi-faceted partnership between the two countries.
In an opening statement released to the media prior to a joint press conference to be addressed by the two leaders, Dr. Singh said he was delighted at taking his first bilateral visit to Malaysia and acknowledged the warm welcome given to him by Prime Minister Razak and the people of Malaysia.
"My visit to Malaysia reflects the commitment of our Government to advance our relations to new heights. India and Malaysia are two major countries of Asia. Malaysia is an influential member of the world community whose voice is heard with great respect in global institutions. Our discussions today have laid the basis for a multi-faceted partnership between India and Malaysia. This will contribute to the peace, prosperity and development of Asia," Prime Minister Singh said.
Referring to his discussions with Prime Minister Razak, Dr. Singh said both leaders have agreed today on the framework for a strategic partnership.
"The Joint Statement outlines a road map for enhanced contacts between our countries at the political, business and people-to-people levels, based on our shared values of democracy and multiculturalism. We have agreed to work closely with each other on regional and international matters of common interest, including on combating the scourge of terrorism," Dr. Singh said.
"It is a matter of deep satisfaction that we have successfully concluded negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement. We have agreed that the two sides will work to complete the formalities by 31 January 2011 so that CECA can come into force by the agreed date of 1 July 2011. I am confident that this Agreement will transform our economic engagement in a substantive way," he added.
"Today we will also formally launch the India-Malaysia CEOs Forum. This will encourage direct interaction between business and industry in each other's countries as well in third countries. I conveyed to the Prime Minister that India welcomes greater Malaysian investment in our infrastructure and manufacturing sectors, and our companies similarly look forward to doing greater business in Malaysia and the ASEAN region. We have agreed to further enhance exchanges in the fields of tourism, civil aviation, culture, higher education and labour," Dr. Singh said.
Singh said that both had discussed regional and international issues of common interest.
"We agreed on the need to reform the United Nations, including its Security Council, and international financial institutions. Both of us share the view that the regional architecture for cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region should be open, inclusive and transparent. I thanked the Prime Minister for Malaysia's constructive role, as ASEAN Coordinator, in helping to work towards a early conclusion of the India-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement in Services and Investment," he said.
He described the year 2010 as a turning point in the history of India-Malaysian relations.
"The understandings and agreements that we reached today have established a solid foundation for the building of a Strategic Partnership, and bringing our two peoples together for a better future," Dr. Singh said. (ANI)