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NEWS ADMIN

Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

DATE

01/10/2002

NEWS PROVIDER

Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

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NULL

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HEADLINE

Dr M to visit India to boost bilateral ties
SRI KEMBANGAN, Sept 27 (NSTP) - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr MahathirMohamad is scheduled to make an official visit to New Delhi on Oct 16 and17 to further boost bilateral ties.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said the visit was expectedto further enhance co-operation between the nations which has been movingforward since the visit here by Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayeein May last year.

The visit manifests the importance that Malaysia places on strengtheningthe momentum that has been established in our relations, he said in hisjoint closing remarks to the Press at the end of the third Malaysia-IndiaJoint Commission Meeting here today.

Also present was Indian External Minister Yashwant Sinha who said that DrMahathir will be addressing the Asean-India Business Summit in New Delhion Oct 17.

The two leaders will devote attention to the issues that are of commonconcern as Malaysia and India seek convergence on issues that affect theregion and global community, said Sinha.

He commended the strong participation by Malaysian firms in infrastructureactivities in India and their continued commitment to look for moreventures especially in the road and airport construction sector.

Sinha said in the road sector alone, Malaysian companies had completedUS$208 million (RM790 million)worth of projects and are currently workingon 27 projects worth US$1.3 billion (RM4.9 billion).

I suggest we make a deal. You can build more highways in India and we canbuild more railways in Malaysia, he said referring to the 330km railwayproject awarded to an Indias Ircon International Ltd worth US$1.5 billionby the Malaysian Government against a barter trade in palm oil products.

Syed Hamid, meanwhile, said India had continued to be Malaysias largesttrading partner in South Asia with total bilateral trade last yeartotalling RM8.93 billion of which the balance of trade amounting to RM3.06billion was in Malaysias favour.

There are 51 Malaysian companies undertaking various projects in Indiavalued at RM11.64 billion, he said.

We welcome Indian investors to participate in Malaysias infrastructureprojects particularly in the information and communication technologysector while their expertise in areas such as biotechnology and genomicscan certainly be of great use to us.

Syed Hamid said Malaysia hoped to be able to trade more in oil palm withIndia with further reduction of the oil palm tariff by India.

During Vajpayees visit here last year, India agreed to reduce the importduty on oil palm by 10 per cent.