KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 30 — Over 150 Indian companies have invested US$3 billion in Malaysia and contributed to the creation of over 20,000 jobs in the country.
India’s High Commissioner to Malaysia B.N. Reddy said, on the other hand, there was a good presence of Malaysian companies in India which have invested US$7 billion both directly and also through third countries.
Indian businesses are involved in various sectors in Malaysia such as ICT, biotechnology, manufacturing, and financial services.
In recent times, Reddy noted that India emerged as Malaysia’s top ten trading partners globally. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, bilateral trade between the two countries has expanded by 26 percent in 2021 and overall trade touched US$17 billion.
“Malaysia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (MICECA) and ASEAN-India Comprehensive Agreements on Trade in Goods and Services and Investments continue to promote our bilateral relations,” he said.
Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan was the chief guest, representing the Malaysian government at the event.
Also present were Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi and MIC president Tan Sri SA Vigneswaran, who is also Malaysia’s special envoy to South Asia.
Reddy pointed out that India and Malaysia share a deep, eternal bond of friendship, deeply rooted in people-to-people linkages.
He said this bond of friendship goes far beyond the establishment of diplomatic ties between both countries in 1957.
“The Bujang Valley in Kedah reminds us of the intrinsic links India had with the Malayan Peninsula,” he said.
Reddy said 2022 marks 65 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Malaysia.
“Itis also the year of 30 years of ASEAN development partnership. We see great opportunity to elevate the bilateral relationship taking advantage of strong complementarities between our two countries,” he added.
In addition, Reddy said over 250,000 Indian nationals comprising professionals and workers are also contributing to the Malaysian economy.
He expressed his deep appreciation to the Malaysian government for facilitating the Indian nationals to pursue their professions.
Meanwhile, he said India has launched the most transformative and comprehensive reforms since its independence in the face of adversity presented by COVID-19.
“India has shown relentless focus on reforming every economic sector and providing a helping hand wherever necessary.”
“It is a testimony to India’s spirit that the economy is projected to grow at an impressive rate of 8.2 percent during this year, as per World Bank estimates, the highest among the large emerging economies,” he said.
Reddy stated that India has registered the highest ever annual foreign direct investment Inflow of US$82 billion in the last financial year 2020-21.
“Digital economy has taken deep roots in India. Innovation and technology and vast market size are driving the growth.”
“India produced 44 unicorns in 2021, and currently has the third-largest StartUp ecosystem in the world with over 62,000 startups,” he said.
On COVID-19, Reddy said Malaysia has made tremendous progress in the vaccination drive including booster doses and expanding it to younger people.
He noted that the world has been battling the coronavirus for over two years. In the first year itself, he said India has raised the healthcare infrastructure and reached out to help others.
“By the second year, we developed an indigenous vaccine – Covaxin, and launched the world’s biggest vaccination drive.”
“With over 1.65 billion doses already administered, we have covered 93 per cent of the adult population with the first dose, and 70 percent are fully vaccinated,” he said.
India has also supplied vaccines under ‘Vaccine Maitri’ and other medical help to 74 countries.
He pointed out that India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his speech at the Group of 20 Leaders’ Summit in Rome in October last year, has announced that India will be producing 5 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses this year, which will be available for the world.
At the event, he said India became a Republic on Jan 26, 1950, which was the second major milestone in its nation-building process since independence in August 1947, and marked the establishment of the largest democratic Republic in the world.
“A country of 1.35 billion people, and to emerge as the world’s most populous country by 2027 as per United Nations estimates, India remains a shining example of unity in diversity,” Reddy said.