The free trade agreement (FTA) between India and Malaysia will come into force from July 1, giving Indian professionals like accountants, engineers and doctors access to the key South-East Asian nation.
In addition, exports of items of considerable interest to India, like basmati rice, mangoes, eggs, trucks, motorcycles and cotton garments, will attract lower or no duty in Malaysia with the implementation of the Comprehensive Economic
Cooperation Agreement (CECA), according to a statement of the Commerce Ministry issued today.
It said sensitive sectors like agriculture, fisheries, textiles, chemicals and automobiles have been given protection from imports without duty or with significant cuts.
The CCEA will facilitate temporary movement of business people, including contractual service suppliers and independent professionals in accounting, architecture, engineering services, medical and dental, nursing and pharmacy, computer services and management consulting.
The agreement will also help boost cross-border investment between the two countries, which achieved bilateral trade of USD 10 billion in the 2010-11 fiscal.
With the help of the opening of trade in goods and services, bilateral trade between India and Malaysia is expected to reach USD 15 billion by 2015, it said.
"The CECA creates an attractive operating environment for the business communities of both countries," the statement said.
An agreement for freeing trade in goods has already been implemented with the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The pact with Malaysia will lead to tariff liberalisation beyond the India-ASEAN FTA commitments, which were implemented by both countries on January 1, 2010.
India has also freed trade with South Korea, while a similar agreement with Japan will come into effect from August.