08 Julai, 2010

[ hang nadim] PM wants economic pact with India ready for Manmohan’s visit


KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wants the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (Ceca) between Malaysia and India to be signed by the end of the year.

The Prime Minister said he would like to see the economic treaty made official when 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.

Attentive: Najib listening to Shri Anand during a discussion at the seminar Thursday. — Bernama

The Indian delegation is led by its Commerce and Industry Minister Shri Anand Sharma.

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.

In his speech, 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% on a year-on-year basis.

“I believe we can get our trade performance back up to the 2008 level,” he said.

In 2008, total trade between both countries amounted to US$10.5bil but dropped to US$7.1bil last year.

India is Malaysia’s 12th largest trading partner and 11th biggest export destination. Malaysia is India’s 13th largest export country.

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India is one of the oldest civilizations in the world with a kaleidoscopic variety and rich cultural heritage. It has achieved all-round socio-economic progress during the last 62 years of its Independence. India has become self-sufficient in agricultural production and is now one of the top industrialized countries in the world and one of the few nations to have gone into outer space to conquer nature for the benefit of the people. It covers an area of 32,87,263 sq. km, extending from the snow-covered Himalayan heights to the tropical rain forests of the south. As the 7th largest country in the world, India stands apart from the rest of Asia, marked off as it is by mountains and the sea, which give the country a distinct geographical entity. Bounded by the Great Himalayas in the north, it stretches southwards and at the Tropic of Cancer, tapers off into the Indian Ocean between the Bay of Bengal on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west.

Lying entirely in the northern hemisphere, the mainland extends between latitudes 8° 4' and 37° 6' north, longitudes 68° 7' and 97° 25' east and measures about 3,214 km from north to south between the extreme latitudes and about 2,933 km from east to west between the extreme longitudes. It has a land frontier of about 15,200 km. The total length of the coastline of the mainland, Lakshadweep Islands and Andaman & Nicobar Islands is 7,516.6 km.

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