The Telegraph
Sunday , August 31 , 2014
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Malaysia for easy trade ties

(From right) Naimun Ashakli Mohammad, Sanjay Budhia, chairman of CII’s national committee of exports, and Aida Safinaz Allias in Calcutta on Saturday. A Telegraph picture

Calcutta, Aug. 30: Malaysia has sought removal of non-tariff barriers to smoothen trade with India.

Though the India-Malaysia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement is in place, all tariffs are yet to be nil.

Bilateral trade between India and Malaysia stood at $13.4 billion in 2013; the target is to touch $20 billion by 2015.

Aida Safinaz Allias, minister counsellor for economic affairs at the High Commission of Malaysia, said the non-tariff barriers were hurting trade.

A delegation, led by Malaysian high commissioner in India, Naimun Ashakli Mohammad, is in Calcutta to look for opportunities in the eastern region in sectors such as infrastructure, IT, food production, bio-technology, education and tourism.

“We are looking for partnerships in manufacturing. We may consider bringing in unfinished products and finish it here. We have also met the chief minister of Bengal. She mentioned infrastructure, smart cities, building of highways and roads, monorail and urban transportation as potential areas. We did invite her to visit Malaysia,” the high commissioner said on the sidelines of an interactive session organised by CII here.

In 2013, among the South Asian countries, India was Malaysia’s 11th largest trading partner, the 13th biggest source of imports and the ninth largest export destination. Malaysia was India’s 24th largest export destination and the 18th biggest source of imports.

Around 20 Malaysian companies have operations in India, largely in chemicals, textiles and fabricated metals.