India, Malaysia to jointly develop projects in third countries

Last Updated: Sun, Dec 30, 2012 06:05 hrs

India and Malaysia have reached an understanding to jointly work on infrastructure and housing projects in countries such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Indonesia.

Indian Railway Construction Company Limited has already signed a memorandum of understanding with Malaysia's Scomi Rail to undertake the proposed Colombo monorail project. A formal announcement on the tie-up is expected soon.

Scomi Rail has been shortlisted for developing the monorail project in Chennai. It would also bid for tenders recently floated for monorail projects in Delhi and Kerala.

In 2010, India's GMR Group and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad had won a joint contract to operate the Ibrahim Nassir International Airport in Male for 25 years. Recently, the Maldives government had terminated the contract, citing irregularities in the selection procedure.

Malvinder Singh, co-chair, India-Malaysia CEO Forum, said, "The India-Malaysia CEO Forum was constituted about two years back to increase trade and investment between the two countries. We have identified six core areas of collaboration in sectors such as construction and infrastructure, education, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and information technology. We have also decided to jointly engage in such projects in third countries."

The two countries were scouting for joint business opportunities in Association of Southeast Asian Nations countries and planned to explore the possibilities of developing infrastructure projects in Africa, Singh said.

Malaysian investment in India is estimated at about $7.8 billion, while Indian investment in the country stands at about $3 billion. In India, Malaysia has invested in the power, oil refineries, telecom and electrical equipment industries. Notable among its private sector alliances in India are Maxis Communications' tie-up with Aircel, TM International's with Spice Communications, Axiata's with IDEA Cellular and Khazanah's with IDFC. Malaysian companies have completed 52 construction projects worth about $2.34 billion in India. Currently, they are implementing another 35 projects.

Indian companies that have made major investments in Malaysia include Reliance Industries Limited, Ballarpur Industries, Larsen & Toubro and Wipro. Biocon India, Manipal University and Strides Arcolabs have announced fresh investments in Malaysia in the past six months.

In the January-September period, trade between India and Malaysia increased about seven per cent to $9.81 billion. Last financial year, it stood at $13.5 billion. However, while India's exports to Malaysia rose from $2.58 billion in 2007-08 to $3.98 billion in 2011-12, imports from that country rose about 60 per cent to $9.56 billion. Consequently, India's trade deficit with Malaysia widened to $ 5.58 billion last financial year.

Year 2007-2008 2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011 2011-2012
EXPORT 2,575.26 3,419.97 2,835.41 3,871.17 3,980.36
% Growth
32.80 -17.09 36.53 2.82
% Share in India's total exports 1.58 1.85 1.59 1.54 1.30
IMPORT 6,012.90 7,184.78 5,176.78 6,523.58 9,557.85
% Growth
19.49 -27.95 26.02 46.51
% Share in India's total imports 2.39 2.37 1.8 1.76 1.95
TOTAL TRADE 8,588.16 10,604.75 8,012.19 10,394.75 13,538.21
% Growth
23.48 -24.45 29.74 30.24
% Share in India's total trade 2.07 2.17 1.72 1.67 1.70
TRADE BALANCE -3,437.64 -3,764.81 -2,341.37 -2,652.41 -5,577.49
Source: Export-Import Databank, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India

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