KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 — The International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) today revealed that the proposed bilateral meeting initiated by India, which was targeted for this week, has fallen through due to both parties’ busy schedule.
The Indian Ministry of Railways and Commerce & Industry, through an official request on December 24 last year, had initiated the proposal for a bilateral meeting between the two ministers on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, which is scheduled from January 21 to 24.
In a statement today, MITI said it had been in communication with the Indian Ministry of Railways and Commerce & Industry for the possible meeting to discuss bilateral and regional trade and investment issues.
“At no point has either country refused to meet with the other. In the spirit of economic partnership between our two nations, Malaysia has tried to accommodate the official request by India, but due to the busy schedule of both ministers, a mutually agreeable time has not been reached at the time of this statement,” it said.
MITI added that in the absence of a formal meeting, it was common for interested parties to meet informally and exchange views on the sidelines.
Minister Datuk Darell Leiking has expressed his openness to such discussion with his Indian counterpart Piyush Goyal, particularly in regard to India’s participation in the Asean-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
In 2018, India was the 10th largest trading partner for Malaysia. Total trade with India increased by 2.2 per cent to RM62.76 billion from RM61.38 billion in 2017.
India was also the largest trading partner, export destination and import source for Malaysia among the South Asian countries.
In terms of investment, India is one of Malaysia’s major sources of foreign investments. As of December 2018, 258 approved investments in the manufacturing sector added up to RM9.30 billion and are expected to create 27,042 jobs. — Bernama