Enhancing ties with India [New Straits Time (Malaysia)]
(New Straits Time (Malaysia) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) KUALA LUMPUR: WITH consumers tightening their purse strings due to the escalating cost of living, businesses in Malaysia are looking at the export markets to boost sales and earnings.
International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the global economic uncertainties have pushed local companies to seek partnerships and new markets outside the country.
The minister, who will be leading a Malaysian trade delegation to India, said the local business community can benefit from closer relations with India, especially during the current economic climate.
"India has a strong small and medium enterprise (SME) sector and local SMEs taking part in the trade and investment mission to India will have the opportunity to enhance their capabilities," he said recently.
The four-day trip, which begins on Monday, will see the SME- based trade and investment mission visiting Bangalore, which is dubbed the Silicon Valley of India, and Chennai, the biggest industrial and commercial centre in South India, also nicknamed the Detroit of India.
While there, Mustapa will attend the Partnership Summit 2014 and the Malaysia-India CEO Forum as well as visit several companies.
"I will be meeting a few ministers (on the sidelines of the event) and also Indian companies in Bangalore, which is the country's IT (information technology) hub," the minister said.
Mustapa and the delegates will meet with major Indian companies as well as take part in networking and business-matching sessions.
Data from the ministry shows that India is Malaysia's 11th largest trading partner and seventh largest export destination. Meanwhile, Malaysia is India's third largest trading partner, export destination and source of imports in the Asean region.
With increasing trade and investment from both nations, the target set by Putrajaya and New Delhi to achieve a total bilateral trade value of US$20 billion next year is within reach.
The trade and investment mission will be seeking to explore India's domestic market and open up business and investment opportunities in second-tier Indian cities such as Pune, Bangalore and Chennai.
It also hopes to establish a collaborative network of SMEs through visits to companies in the automotive and manufacturing sectors, as well as strengthen ties.
Mustapa will be a panelist at a plenary session on "Entering into a New Trade Era Post-Bali" at the Partnership Summit 2014 in Bangalore, which will discuss the success of the World Trade Organisation Bali Ministerial Conference.
He will also be meeting his counterpart Anand Sharma, and both will address the Malaysia-India CEO Forum.
The Partnership Summit is the annual flagship event of the Confederation of Indian Industry, organised in association with India's Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
The summit provides a platform to stimulate discussions among all key stakeholders - political, institutional, business, media and academia - on the best strategies and policies to help the countries overcome obstacles to improving competitiveness and achieving inclusive growth.
The Malaysia-India CEO Forum consists of 18 to 20 members from the Malaysian and Indian private sectors.
TRADE BETWEEN MALAYSIA AND INDIA (2012)
- Total Trade: US$13.3 billion (7.3 per cent increase from 2011)
- Exports to India: US$9.5 billion (4.2 per cent increase from 2011)
- Imports from India: US$3.8 billion (15.9 per cent increase from 2011)
- Main export items: Palm oil (25.2 per cent of total exports); electrical and electronic products (19.4 per cent); crude petroleum (17.4 per cent); chemicals and chemical products (10.6 per cent); and transport equipment (4.8 per cent).
- Main import items: Refined petroleum products (10.6 per cent of total imports); chemicals and chemical products (163 per cent); live animals and meat (8.9 per cent); other agriculture products (6.2 per cent); and cereal ( 6.0 per cent)
Source: International Trade and Industry Ministry
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