My visit to India couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time. Our ties with India go way back. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Malaysia-India diplomatic relations, therefore marking the significance of the friendship between the two nations.
Since my last visit to India in 2010, the Malaysia – India relations has flourished and blossomed. We have established the Malaysia – India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) and India is among Malaysia’s largest trading partners and largest export destination. We have also established partnerships in terms of defence cooperation, counter-terrorism, tourism and culture relations, IT and services as well as infrastructure projects.
This will be my third visit to India since assuming office and I will be visiting Chennai, New Delhi and Jaipur. During this visit, among others, I will be meeting India’s captains of industries as well as attend the 7th Global Science and Innovation Advisory Council Meeting (GSIAC). I have mentioned previously that innovation is key to success and with India’s booming business sector and its innovative nature, I look forward to exploring new opportunities in India. We must always have one eye on the future!
The friendship between India and Malaysia extends beyond the formalities. Uniquely, India has contributed to the demographics of the Malaysia we see today. The Indian community makes up the third largest ethnic group in Malaysia and many Indian Malaysians still have family relations in India. We are quite literally connected to each other.
Last but definitely not least, I look forward to meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi again. Prime Minister Modi and I have previously met on several occasions but this will be my first visit to India since he became the Prime Minister of India. I hope to exchange ideas and have fruitful discussions with Prime Minister Modi to further strengthen our bilateral ties. Insya-Allah.