Kuala Lumpur: Two way trade between India and Malaysia is galloping, largely helped by the historic economic cooperation agreement CECA and is expected to touch USD 11 billion this year, Malaysia's trade minister said on Monday.
The two countries inked the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) recently and trade has noticeably quickened after it came into force.
"I don't think we will have any problem in getting 11 billion dollars by the year-end and we can exceed the targetted 15 billion dollars by 2015... thats a possibility given the growth of the Indian and Malaysian economies and some cuts in tariffs," Internal Trade and Industry minister Mustapa Mohamed said in his keynote address at the India Malaysia Trade Investment Forum here.
He hoped that more Indian automotive components firms and other small and medium enterprises would invest in Malaysia.
Currently most of the Indian companies here are focussed on textiles and the manufacturing sector.
In the first nine months of 2011, trade jumped substantially by 35 per cent to USD 9.5 billion.
So far 106 projects in this country valued at USD 1.1 billion involve Indian companies while Malaysian companies are involved in projects worth USD 2.8 billion in India.
The free trade agreement (FTA) between India and Malaysia came into force from July 1, giving Indian professionals like accountants, engineers and doctors access to the key South-East Asian nation.
In addition, exports of items of considerable interest to India, like basmati rice, mangoes, eggs, trucks, motorcycles and cotton garments, now attract lower or no duty in Malaysia with the implementation of the CECA.
Sensitive sectors like agriculture, fisheries, textiles, chemicals and automobiles have been given protection from imports without duty or with significant cuts.
The CECA will facilitate temporary movement of business people, including contractual service suppliers and independent professionals in accounting, architecture, engineering services, medical and dental, nursing and pharmacy, computer services and management consulting.
The bilateral trade stood at USD 10 billion in the 2010-11 fiscal.
First Published: Monday, November 21, 2011, 18:13