KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak described his recent working visit to India as a paradigm shift needed by the two countries in realising each other’s potential.
“Alhamdulillah, my working visit to India, which ended yesterday (April 4) and I believe we have entered a new phase in bilateral relations with the Indian Government to be more strategic and comprehensive,” he said in his latest posting on his blog, NajibRazak.com.
He said a lot had been achieved and he shared three major successes by the Malaysian delegation during the visit.
Firstly, Malaysia had successfully signed 31 memoranda of understanding (Business-to-Business) with total investments of US$36 billion (US$1 = RM4.43) including US$32 billion worth of projects and investments in Malaysia, said Najib.
The cooperation that were signed covered various sectors including port construction, roads, solar power development, smart building development, technology park, palm oil and coconut development, as well as higher education.
This was a positive indicator of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government and India’s top companies’ confidence with regards to Malaysia’s investment environment and economy.
“The amount of investment and the projects that I mentioned are not merely numbers, they would mean a lot to Malaysians.
“Our children will be able to benefit from the high-income job opportunities and their quality of life would definitely improve.
“The supporting industries would also keep growing,” said Najib, who is also the Finance Minister.
Secondly, he said, economic relations between the Malaysian government and India had also entered a new phase, with the signing of six memorandum of understanding (MoU) and one government-to-government (G-to-G) agreement which paved the way for economic growth between the countries.
The MoUs included a proposal for the development of a urea and ammonia manufacturing company in Malaysia, as well as the offtake of existing surplus urea from Malaysia to India.
The project is expected to cost US$2 billion with a capacity to produce 2.5 million tonnes per annum, and dedicated to supplying the Indian market.
Both leaders agreed to aim for US15 billion in bilateral trade for the next three years.
The third success achieved was Modi agreeing to increase cooperative efforts in the security, defence and peace areas by showing interest to purchase a fighter jet, MiG-29 from Malaysia, and to reciprocate, Malaysia would receive spare parts for the Sukhoi aircraft programme.
Najib’s meeting with the famous movie star, Rajinikanth, was a bonus for his visit this time.
“I have taken the opportunity to invite him to film for the Kabali movie sequel in Malaysia and I believe this is a strategic move to market our unique and beautiful country to attract more Indian tourists,” said Najib.
This is in line with the agenda to increase the capacity of weekly flights to India from 20,000 to 40,000.
The prime minister also took the opportunity to thank Modi and the Indian government for the warm hospitality accorded to him and the Malaysian delegation even though the prime minister was fasting and just took water for nine days.
“This is certainly a testament to the close relationship between the two countries and the commitment to strengthen and enhance existing cooperation to a higher level.
“God willing, we shall continue to move forward with our strategic partners, and I believe that India and Malaysia will be be developed under the cooperation that has been nurtured,” said Najib. — Bernama