Kuala Lumpur: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday concluded his visit to Malaysia where the two countries announced a comprehensive economic cooperation and
decided to forge closer ties on a range of other areas, including defence, anti-terrorism and hydrocarbons.
Singh left for Hanoi where he will attend ASEAN-India Summit and East Asia Summit besides having bilateral meetings, including one with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabo.
In Malaysia, Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur were given a warm sent-off after hectic and packed schedule of meetings with Prime Minister Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak and
leaders from political and business community.
The two sides resolved to impart strategic dimension in their relations as Singh held wide-ranging talks with his Malaysian counterpart Razak after which six pacts were signed in various fields like science and technology, IT and health.
The two leaders formally announced conclusion of negotiations on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), which is aimed at enabling freer movement of goods, services and investments. The two sides set a trade target of USD 15 billion by 2015.
The Agreement, negotiations for which began in February 2008, will be formally signed by January next year by when all legal formalities would be completed and will be
implemented on July one next year.
During his stay, Singh invited Malaysian companies to invest in India pointing out that funds to the tune of USD one trillion would be required over the next seven years and rules were being relaxed to enable smoother FDI flows.
The two sides also set up a CEO`s forum to encourage direct interaction between business and industry in each other`s countries as well as in third countries while setting
the target of USD 15 billion by 2015.
Dr Singh and Najib had agreed on the framework for a strategic partnership and the joint statement issued after the meeting outlines the roadmap for enhanced contacts between the two countries at the political, business and people-to-people levels.
Keen to work together in the field of security, India and Malaysia have also decided to explore possibilities of collaborative projects in the defence sector and enhance
cooperation in counter-terrorism through information sharing and establishment of Joint Working Group at an early date.
In Hanoi, the Prime Minister will discuss with the ASEAN leaders a road map for future cooperation which will be reflected in an India-ASEAN Plan of Action for 2010-2015.
The issues that will figure include the broad-based trading agreement that will go beyond the Free Trade Agreement which was signed earlier this year covering goods and