India, Malaysia on Track to Finalize Free Trade Deal

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Mar. 29 – India and Malaysia are set to finalize a free trade agreement by the end of the year as they begin the next round of trade negotiations today in Kuala Lumpur.

“We have just got into substantive negotiations. After two years we are resuming the negotiations. We will go through all the issues,” a senior Malaysian trade official told AFP.

“Malaysia and India are on track towards formalizing a bilateral trade liberalization pact under the Malaysia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement,” Malaysia’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry said in a statement.

The Indian prime minister is scheduled to visit Malaysia in October so authorities from both sides want the details of the free trade agreement finalized by then. Malaysia and India have had steady bilateral trade relations with India being Malaysia’s twelfth largest trading partner. Unfortunately, trade between the two countries suffered from the effects of the global financial crisis last year amounting to US$7.06 billion compared to US$10.52 billion in 2008.