Assam Industries and Commerce Department has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Malaysia India Business Council (MIBC) to improve the two-way trade and investment between India and Malaysia.
The MoU was signed on November 10 in the presence of Assam Industries and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary and MIBC president Tan Sri Ir Kuna Sittampalam in Guwahati,
As per the MoU, both the parties agreed to explore and improve the two-way trade and investment between the two countries in sectors like education, tourism, primary industries, etc.
Assistance will be accorded to business or trade missions from India visiting Malaysia and vice-versa in seminars, conferences, exhibitions, economic and technical fairs, information bureau, symposia, or similar events taking place in each others country.
It was also decided to accelerate engagement, trade, cultural exchange to unlock the potential sectors between Assam and Malaysia.
Speaking at the ceremony, Patowary said, "Business and connectivity are two sides of the same coin. The trilateral highway which is expected to open by 2021 will connect Assam to Malaysia through Myanmar and Thailand."
He the Kaladan multi-modal project will provide access to Sittwe seaport of Myanmar and make it easy to trade with Malaysia and the Mongla and Chittagong ports of Bangladesh will allow North East to access the South East Asian market.
Describing the MoU as the beginning of a new journey of trade and economic cooperation, Patowary hoped that the agreement will help in embarking upon a new journey of exploring opportunities and pitching in investment in the potential sectors.
Assuring help and cooperation, the minister asked the Malaysian delegation to invest in sectors like infrastructure, health care, food processing, tea tourism-cum-golf tourism, bamboo and agar which are supported by investment-friendly policies like state industrial policy, sugar policy, IT policy, export and logistics policy.
Also urging MIBC to open a Malaysian consulate in Guwahati and start flight connectivity between Guwahati and Kuala Lumpur, the minister said, "though we are divided by boundaries, our roots are the same. Its the heart to heart connection we share and with the philosophy of Atithi Devo Bhava the guest is god, we will work together in each others states in the industrial sectors".
MIBC president Sittampalam said that apart from the historical perspective, a comprehensive business agreement between India and Malaysia was signed in 2011 and since then trade between the two countries has increased from USD 8 billion to USD 17.24 billion during 2018-19.
Terming the MoU as a historical milestone, Sittampalam added that the North East region can be the food basket for Malaysia as the country imports varieties of food items from India.