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Malaysia to offer multiple entry visas for Indians

Malaysia has decided to open a visa office in Mumbai and issue multiple entry visas to facilitate easy travel for Indians.

india Updated: Jun 07, 2006 23:10 IST

Malaysia has decided to open a visa office in Mumbai and issue multiple entry visas to facilitate easy travel for Indians, visiting Deputy Prime Minister Mohammed Najib Bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak said in New Delhi Wednesday.

Describing plans to issue multiple entry visas as "a first step towards making travel to Malaysia by Indians easier", Razak said the expanding Indian economy offers opportunities for Malaysian and Indian companies to explore collaborative initiatives.

Currently, Malaysia's involvement in India is mainly in the construction sector, particularly in the building of highways, said Razak who is leading a high-level delegation on an eight-day visit to promote economic and trade ties.

"I believe this (involvement) can be expanded to other areas, such as property development, construction of airports, seaports, power plants, water and sewage treatment, telecommunications, logistics including tourism and education," he said while addressing a meeting organised jointly by industry lobbies of both countries.

Pointing out that both Malaysia and India are looking at services sector as major growth engines, Razak said: "There is an array of services in which both countries can collaborate and trade."

He stressed on areas like ICT and ICT-related services, tourism, financial services, transport, construction, BPO, after-sales services, education and training, health and diagnostic services and consultancy.

Razak pointed to the role played by India's Bollywood in making Malaysian landmarks like the PETRONAS Twin Tower, Langkawi and Penang Islands famous through its films.

"The film business is expected to stimulate Indian visitors to Malaysia. Hundreds, if not thousands, of film crew members have been to Malaysia in recent months and as a consequence, the Global Indian Film Award (GIFA) 2006 will be hosted in Kuala Lumpur in August," he announced.

Sirajuddin Qureshi, co-chairman of India-Malaysia Joint Business Council pointed out that tourism was an important area for joint synergy between the two countries.

He emphasised the need for further easing of business visas to enable the business community to travel at short notice.

Qureshi suggested that there could be close cooperation between the Indian software industry and Malaysian hardware industry to mutual advantage.

India-Malaysia trade in 2004-05 was $3.29 billion, with a 16.85 percent rise in Indian exports to $1.04 billion. Imports rose by 9.76 percent to $2.25 billion.

In terms of bilateral investment, Malaysia is the 18th largest investor in India with a cumulative (approved) investment exceeding $135 million. Cumulative Indian investment in Malaysia is estimated to be over $345 million.