Visit to Prime Minister of Malaysia to India

IAS Prelims 2023

Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia, undertook a State Visit to India on 30 March – 4 April 2017.  The two countries commemorated the 60th anniversary of India-Malaysia diplomatic relations. He held discussions with Indian Prime Minister Modi during the visit.

The two leaders welcomed the signing of the MoU between the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and the Association of Food Scientists and Technologies (India) – Mumbai Chapter; the MoU between MPOB and Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT), India; the MoU between Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) and Solvent Extractors’ Association of India; and the MoU between MPOC and Mumbai Dabbawala Association.

They welcomed the outcome of the joint Army exercises HARIMAU SHAKTI and agreed to hold the exercises to company level, and subsequently as tri-services exercises.

They welcomed the initiative by the Government of Malaysia to expand the visa-free programme to the Indian nationals visiting Malaysia effective from 1 April 2017 until 31 March 2018 under the Electronic Travel Registration and Information (eNTRI).

They welcomed the renaming of the Indian Cultural Centre in Kuala Lumpur as “Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Indian Cultural Centre” to commemorate the contribution of Indian-origin community in Malaysia who served in large numbers in Netaji’s Indian National Army and Rani of Jhansi regiment.

They welcomed the signing of an MoU between the Government of Andhra Pradesh and PEMANDU in the area of performance management, project delivery and monitoring, and agreed to further strengthen cooperation in this direction for the mutual benefit of all sides;

They welcomed the signing of an MoU between the Government of Andhra Pradesh and PEMANDU in the area of performance management, project delivery and monitoring, and agreed to further strengthen cooperation in this direction for the mutual benefit of all sides.

The India – Malaysia CEO Forum held its meeting on March 31, 2017 in New Delhi. The meeting coincided with the visit of Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia to India from March 31 – April 4, 2017.

Malaysia is India’s third largest trading partner in ASEAN. Bilateral trade between Malaysia and India stood at US$12.8 billion in 2015-16, as against US$ 16.9 billion in 2014-15. The trade balance is in favor of Malaysia (US$5.4 billion in 2015-16). The Prime Ministers have expressed their aspiration to see this trade increase to US $15 billion in the immediate future.

In terms of investment, there has been significant growth between the two nations in various sectors. The total investments from Malaysia stood at around US$7 billion or more as against total investments of around US$2.5 billion from the Indian side.

There has been a surge in Malaysian private sector initiatives in India, particularly in the infrastructure sector. According to Malaysia’s Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB), as on date, Malaysian companies have completed 53 highway & road projects worth RM 9.3 billion (US$ 2.84 billion) in India. In addition, there are 7 projects valued at RM 1.1 billion (US$ 0.34 billion), which are still under construction.

At present, there are around 120 Indian companies including 61 Indian joint ventures, 7 Indian Public Sector Undertakings and 60 Indian IT companies operating in/from Malaysia. Their areas of operation are manufacture of Textiles and Yarn, Drugs and Pharmaceuticals, Glass containers, Automobile associated activities, Specialty Chemicals, Steel Furniture, Rubber Products, Services in Information Technologies, Education, Biotechnology, Healthcare, etc.

India and Malaysia have a Universal Healthcare System managed by the Governments along with participation of private medical facilities, which together address the healthcare needs of citizens. Both countries are witnessing a rising inflow of patients from the western world.

Globally over 415 million individuals are battling diabetes and it is Type 2 diabetes in almost 90 percent of the population. Over 69.1 million suffer from diabetes in India and Malaysia with 3.2M Diabetics has one of the highest diabetes prevalence rates amongst adults worldwide.

The growth of SMEs in both countries can be catalysed by leveraging on 3Ds; namely Disruptive technology, Digitisation of SMEs and Diverse financial alternatives. Some head starts have been made in integrating SMEs in both countries into Industrial Revolution 4.0.

In Malaysia, the Digital Free Trade Zone (DTFZ) was launched to empower SMEs towards internationalisation. This platform provides more opportunities for SMEs of both countries to be plugged into the global supply chain of large companies.

In addition, the rapid expansion of alternative financing landscape for SMEs, including Equity Crowd Funding (ETF) and the peer-to-peer financing platform as well as the soon-to-be launched Leading Entrepreneurs Accelerator Platform (LEAP), a listed private market on the Malaysia Bourse provides better access to funding for SMEs.

Indian members suggested that the two countries could cooperate to build capacity of SMEs in Malaysia through training and entrepreneurship development etc. This would help Malaysian SMEs plug into the Indian supply chain especially in pharmaceuticals, biotech and IT sectors. CII and MIBC were requested to facilitate the process.

List of Agreements/MoUs Exchanged During the State Visit:
(a) Air Services Agreement between the Government of India and the Government of Malaysia.
(b) Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the proposed development of a Urea and Ammonia Manufacturing Plant in Malaysia and offtake of exisiting surplus urea from Malaysia to India.
(c) MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Sports.
(d) MoU between Association of Indian Universities (AIU), India and Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA), Malaysia on Mutual Recognition of the Educational Qualifications.
(e) MoU between Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII) and the Malaysian Human Resource Fund (HRDF)/ Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad (PSMB) cooperation in training.
(f) MoU between Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT) and Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB)
(g) MoU between MIGHT Technology Malaysia and Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board on implementation of 4th Generation Technology Park in AP.