India and Malaysia will sign an "in-principle" comprehensive trade opening agreement during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Kuala Lumpur starting tomorrow.
"With Malaysia, we will sign in-principle agreement, which will give the essence of the final agreement," Commerce
and Industry Minister Anand Sharma told reporters today before leaving for Malaysia, where he would join the Prime Minister.
Officials from the two nations would go through the legal text (or language) of the pact before signing of the
final agreement. The final Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), including services, is likely to be signed in a month's time.
The pact, likely to take effect next year, aims at enhancing bilateral trade, which is about USD 7.1 billion.
The two countries have conducted seven rounds of discussions on the CECA since February 2008.
India has exempted 1,225 items from tariff reductions under the Malaysian pact, compared with 1,298 under its Asean
deal, while Malaysia has exempted 838 items, compared with 898 under the earlier Asean agreement.
During his October 26 to 28 visit to Malaysia, Singh would meet Malaysian Prime Minister Mohd Najib Tun Abdul
Razak and King and Queen of Malaysia, besides various other engagements.
In 2009, India-Malaysia trade negotiations were put on hold as both sides wanted to focus on completing the Asean-India Trade in Goods Agreement. The agreement was signed in August 2009.
Sharma also said India would soon announce formal launch negotiations for comprehensive free trade pacts with two more Asean nations - Indonesia and Thailand.
India has already entered into a market opening agreement with Singapore.