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Malaysia's plea to begin free trade

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Hyderabad, Mar 1 (UNI) India and Malaysia could begin free trade in products on which they have reached an agreement instead of waiting for the conclusion of deliberations which could take up to two years, Malaysian Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry Mah Siew Keong YB Dato today said.

Speaking during an interaction with The Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry here, Mr Dato said it could take a couple of years for the free trade area to materialise and in the meantime both the countries could set the ball rolling by beginning to trade in products on which clear agreements were reached.

Pointing out to the rapidly increasing bilateral trade between the two countries which touched five billion USD in 2005 from 3.2 billion USD in 2003, Mr Dato invited businessmen from Andhra Pradesh to invest in his country.

Mr Dato said there was good level of economic cooperation between the countries which will benefit joint ventures in the long run.

''Our Prime Minister is focussing more on agriculture sector and agro-based industry due to the large natural resource base in the country. Businessmen of Andhra Pradesh can invest in Mayalsia in biotech, IT and agriculture sectors,'' he added.

Due to globalisation, Malaysia framed policies inviting greater investment in manufacturing sector in the country. He also welcomed 100 per cent equity investment by foreign shareholders.

UNI ASJ GM 1630

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