Talks for India-Malaysia economic deal likely in new year

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New Delhi, Nov 26 (UNI) Union Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath today said a proposal is underway to start negotiations for an India-Malaysia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) from January 2008.

Inaugurating a Seminar on "Malaysia-India Business Opportunities", organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), he said "I am confident that this agreement will take our bilateral relations to newer heights and contribute to the growth of our economies." For promotion of trade and investment relations, the two countries had set up a Joint Study Group which, after adoption, had recommended establishment of CECA.

The JSG has outlined potential for huge trade in goods, services and investment between the two countries. Mr Kamal Nath said JSG's estimate of catapulting the bilateral trade to 16 billion dollars by 2012 was achievable.

Malaysia's Minister of International Trade and Industry Dato' Seri Rafidah Aziz said the seminar will provide their respective business communities with an update of trade and investment opportunities in both countries and explore possibilities for cooperation in trade, investment and services. He was accompnied by a business delegation from manufacturing, trading and services sectors.

The bilateral trade between India and Malaysia during 2002-03 was 2.2 billion dollar and increased three-fold to 6.6 billion dollar in 2006-07 in favour of Malaysia whose exports to India were 5.3 billion dollar as against India's exports of 1.3 billion dollar.


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