Tuesday, November 28, 2023

India and Malaysia Explore Enhanced Collaboration in Defense, Trade, and Tourism

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During the bilateral Joint Commission Meeting (JCM), India and Malaysia, co-chaired by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and his Malaysian counterpart Zambry Abdul Kadir, delved into avenues for expanded cooperation. They discussed areas like digital technology, fintech, and semiconductors, signaling a broader scope for collaboration. The Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) between India and Malaysia, held after a 12-year gap, was deemed crucial for assessing the state of their bilateral relationship. The last JCM took place in Kuala Lumpur in 2011.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, in his opening statements, emphasized the significance of Malaysia as a key strategic partner for India. He highlighted that Malaysia is among India’s top 10 trading partners, ranking as the third-largest trading partner within ASEAN. Jaishankar also underlined the meeting as an opportunity to explore new horizons of cooperation in areas like digital technology, renewable energies, semiconductors, and space. He expressed India’s appreciation for Malaysia’s support in bolstering its relationship with ASEAN.

Foreign Minister Zambry Abdul Kadir, on his first official visit to India, also stressed the intention to expand cooperation and collaboration between the two nations, not only for the present but also for the future.

Following the meeting, S. Jaishankar shared on X that both sides had conducted a comprehensive review of their collaboration in various sectors, including defense, security, trade, health, energy, education, tourism, and people-to-people exchanges. They also exchanged views on regional and global issues, such as the Indo-Pacific, ASEAN, and West Asia.

The foreign ministers were present for the signing of two significant agreements. The first was a memorandum of understanding between Prasar Bharti and Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) to foster cooperation. The second agreement was inked between the Sushma Swaraj Institute of Foreign Service and Malaysia’s Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations, focusing on diplomat training.

Foreign Minister Kadir also held discussions with Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar to explore opportunities for strengthening bilateral relations. India and Malaysia celebrated 65 years of diplomatic ties in 2022, having elevated their relationship to an enhanced strategic partnership in 2015. In 2017, both nations issued a roadmap for cooperation, further solidifying their ties.

The visit by Foreign Minister Zambry Abdul Kadir provided an opportunity to conduct a comprehensive assessment of bilateral relations and to identify avenues for further enhancement and consolidation, as noted in a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs.

In the year 2022, India held the position of Malaysia’s 11th largest trading partner, with the total trade volume reaching $19.63 billion. This marked a substantial 23.6% increase in trade value compared to the figures from 2021.

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