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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Malaysia's Private Sector To Sign Slew Of MoUs With India

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 17 -- Malaysia is expected to sign more than 13 memoranda of understanding (MoU) during Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's five-day visit to India from Tuesday.

Najib said most of the MoUs would be from the private sector.

"The latest count is 13 and we are still counting," he said in an interview with Indian journalists at his office recently.

The prime minister said both countries would also trade in traditional sectors and Malaysia would like India to continue buying palm oil from the country.

He said several bilateral discussions would be held during his trip, including on road construction, education, information and communication technology, oil and gas exploration, pharmaceuticals, tourism and green technologies.

He said bilateral trade between the two countries had reached US$10 billion (RM33 billion) and hoped it would increase in the future.

Najib described his visit to India as "substantive and not purely ceremonial".

"I will also extend an invitation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to come to Malaysia. It will enhance Malaysia's political and economic ties with India," he said.

To a question on defence cooperation, Najib said India had provided some useful help over the Sukhoi aircraft.

"But we have not bought anything major. Our personnel were sent to India for pilot training."

On whether Malaysia would collaborate with India in nuclear technology for source of energy, Najib said: "We have not made any decision yet as nuclear energy will the last option for the country."

Najib will be accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and a delegation including ministers, menteris besar and chief ministers as well as representatives of the business sector.

During his visit, Najib will meet Manmohan Singh on Jan 20 and is scheduled to call on President Pratibha Devisingh Patil and Vice-President Hamid Ansari.

Najib will also attend a roundtable meeting with selected Indian industrialists and launch a Malaysian property exhibition.

The prime minister will also meet the Malaysian community in Chennai, including businessmen and students.

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