Prime Minister of
Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak and his wife Datin Sri
Rosmah Mansor being received by the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh
and his wife Mrs. Gursharan Kaur, at a ceremonial reception, at
Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on January 20, 2010.
New Delhi: Buoyed by improving ties, India and Malaysia Wednesday signed an
extradition treaty and decided to fast-track negotiations to wrap up
a free trade area agreement by the end of this year.
Days before India’s
first monorail made by Malaysia’s Scomi Group goes for its test run
in Mumbai, the two countries sought to scale up two-way investment
in areas ranging from real estate, biosciences, ICT and transport
Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh and visiting Malaysian premier Mohammed Najib Tun Abdul Razak
held talks here on a wide range of bilateral, regional and global
issues. Expanded cooperation in countering terrorism, more
collaboration in knowledge industries and a proposed FTA figured
prominently in the discussions.
Issues relating to the
welfare of 1.9 million persons of Indian origin living in Malaysia,
mostly from Tamil Nadu, also figured in the talks.
The two sides inked an
extradition treaty and a memorandum of understanding on greater
cooperation in higher education.
India’s Securities and
Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and Securities Commission of Malaysia
signed another accord, called the Malaysia-India Capital
The extradition treaty,
which the two sides have been negotiating for years, was signed by
External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and his Malaysian counterpart
In 2002, a Malaysian
court had refused to extradite Ottavio Quattrocchi, one of the prime
accused in the multi-billion dollar Bofors payoff scam that rocked
India over two decades ago. There was no formal extradition treaty
between them at that time. Quattrocchi was arrested in Malaysia in
India hopes the
extradition treaty will help both countries in countering
trans-national crimes, official sources said.
Scaling up economic
ties to a new level also dominated the discussions between the two
collaborative agreement, a key step for expanding two-way FDI, will
enable both regulators to collaborate in developing their respective
markets and in relevant areas of cross-border cooperation.
Interacting with Indian
industrialists, the Malaysian leader suggested the formation of a
CEOs forum and called for the finalisation of a Comprehensive
Economic Cooperation Agreement by the end of this year.
“I believe the time has
come to move forward towards a resolution that will spur economic
growth for both our nations,” Razak said at a joint interaction with
leading industry chambers.
Razak’s decision to
visit India, in the first year of his government, soon after
visiting China, underlines a shift in perception of India in
Malaysia and other ASEAN countries and their keen desire to forge a
closer relationship with the world’s second fastest growing economy.
India is increasingly
seen in Malaysia as a source of quality technology and a hub of
innovations in biotechnology, IT and education.
“India has high quality
technology to serve diverse sectors, and vast experience in a wide
range of sciences,” Razak said. “Malaysia, on the other hand, needs
expertise in bioscience, ICT, and in education. It makes sense for
us to look to India as a key source for them,” he stressed.
Bilateral trade had
crossed $10 billion in 2008.
Razak also advocated a
greater role for Malaysian construction companies, which have
already completed projects $2.3 billion worth of projects here, in
India’s infrastructure expansion.
Razak, who arrived in
New Delhi Tuesday on a five-day state visit, was given a ceremonial
welcome at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan Wednesday morning. He
called on President Pratibha Patil and discussed bilateral
He also met Vice
President Hamid Ansari, the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA)
chair Sonia Gandhi and Sushma Swaraj, leader of opposition in the
The only engagement
Razak has in New Delhi Thursday morning is a meeting with Congress
general secretary Rahul Gandhi before leaving for Chennai, the hub
of Malaysian investment in India. He is likely to meet Tamil Nadu
Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi.