India seeks Malaysia's cooperation in finalising FTA | business | Hindustan Times
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India seeks Malaysia's cooperation in finalising FTA

business Updated: Apr 18, 2007 15:39 IST

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India on Wednesday sought Malaysia's support in concluding the India-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement soon, saying the proposed pact is a key element of New Delhi's 'Look East' policy.

"We believe that it is mutually rewarding for India and Malaysia to work towards not a mere incremental improvement but a qualitative upgradation in their relationship in all its dimensions, bilateral, regional and international, proceeding from a strategic perspective," Indian Ambassador to Malaysia Ashok Kantha said while presenting his credentials to King Mizan Zainal Abidin at the Royal Palace this morning.

Kantha, who arrived in Kuala Lumpur a fortnight ago, succeeded RL Narayan, who is now India's envoy in Ottawa, Canada.

The new envoy to Malaysia, who was accompanied by Deputy High Commissioner Nagendra Saxena, in a brief speech said Malaysia was New Delhi's key partner within the ASEAN and in the context of its Look East policy.

"The present environment offers a window of opportunity for India and Malaysia to further strengthen and diversify their trade and economic cooperation," Kantha said.

Accepting Kantha's credentials, the King said Malaysia highly valued its ties with India and lauded New Delhi's Look East policy.

He said Kuala Lumpur would continue to work with India and other like-minded countries to address common concern and challenges.

Bilateral trade between the two countries reached USD 6.58 billion in 2006. India is also the most important overseas market for Malaysian construction companies.