Kuala Lumpur, Feb 16 (IANS) Malaysia and India are set to follow up on the $468 million worth of potential trade avenues identified during last month's India visit of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, with the next round of negotiations here March 28-30.
These investments, if realised, will give the Malaysian economy a strong boost, said Mustapa Mohamed, the country's minister for international trade and industry, adding potential investments worth nearly $500 million were identified during the visit.
Among Indian companies that showed interest in collaborations on highways construction during Razak's maiden visit to New Delhi and Chennai was the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group and 18 pacts were signed between Malaysian and Indian companies, he said.
Some of the joint venture plans between the companies of the two sides included those of Melaka Biotech Holdings and Vanguard Creative Technologies, SapuraCrest Petroleum and Larsen and Toubro, and MAS GMR Aerospace Engineering and Jet Airways.
"We want to see the projects come to fruition in the near future," Mustapa said adding his ministry will monitor the progress once every four months. "It's the responsibility of the stakeholders to follow through on these agreements."
Malaysia is trying to push trade with large emerging economies like India and China as traditional markets like the US and Europe are reeling under the effects of a global slowdown.
Mustapa said Anil Ambani, who is the chairman of the group, had told him he was keen to collaborate with Malaysian firms in highway projects. The Group has projects worth $10 billion in this area.
Mustapa said his ministry was also taking up an initiative to set up a Malaysia-India Chief Executive Officers' Forum. "The main intention of the forum is to bring the most influential CEOs in both countries together."
They can collaborate to enhance bilateral trade and investment exchanges between India and Malaysia, even as the governments of the two sides will move ahead to forge a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement.
"This is our priority right now. We aim to conclude negotiations by the end of the year so that the agreement can be signed when Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh makes a return visit to Kuala Lumpur."
Deputy Secretary General of the ministry Rebecca Fatima Sta Maria, who is the chief negotiator for the pact, said she has scheduled five meeting dates in New Delhi next month.