Assam inks biz pact with Malaysia
President of the Malaysia India Business Council (MIBC) Tan Sri Ir Kuna Sittampalam on Sunday said Northeast India can be the “food basket for Malaysia” as it imports varieties of food items from the region.
The Assam industries and commerce department signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the MIBC in the presence of industries and commerce minister Chandra Mohan Patowary and the MIBC president here on Sunday.
Sittampalam said apart from the historical perspective, a comprehensive business agreement between the two countries was signed in 2011, and since then trade between India and Malaysia has increased from $8 billion to $17.24 billion in 2018-19.
Both the parties agreed to explore and improve the two-way trade and investment between themselves in education, tourism and primary industries sectors.
Assistance will be accorded to business and trade missions from India visiting Malaysia and vice versa in seminars, conferences, exhibitions, economic and technical fairs, information bureau, symposia, or similar events taking place in each other’s country.
It was also decided that besides trade, cultural exchange will be accelerated to unlock the potential sectors between Assam and Malaysia.
Addressing the gathering, Patowary said: “Business and connectivity are two sides of the same coin. The trilateral highway, expected to be inaugurated by 2021, will connect Assam to Malaysia through Myanmar and Thailand. The Kaladan multi-modal project will also provide access to Sittwe sea port of Myanmar and make trade with Malaysia easy. The Mongla and Chittagong ports in Bangladesh will allow the Northeast to access the Southeast Asian market.”
The minister requested the MIBC to open a Malaysian consulate here and start flight operations between Guwahati and Kuala Lumpur. “Though we are divided by boundaries, our roots are same. It’s the heart-to-heart connection we share and with the philosophy of atithi devo bhava (the guest is god), we will work together in each other’s states at the industrial sectors,” he added.