New Delhi, Apr 1 : Malaysia wants bilateral trade with India to touch USD 15 billion by 2020, visiting Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said here today.
In his interaction with President Pranab Mukherjee during the welcome ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Najib, who is on a six-day visit, said India has always supported Malaysia in difficult times and his country wants to raise their relations to “new heights”.
Welcoming the dignitary, Mukherjee said the two countries have taken their strategic partnership forward, particularly after the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Malaysia in November 2015.
There is considerable potential for Indo-Malaysia collaboration in defence production, Mukherjee said.
He said relations between India and Malaysia are centuries old and are “the best ever so far”.
Reciprocating the sentiments, the visiting Prime Minster said the relations between India and Malaysia are multi-dimensional.
“The two countries can collaborate in a wide variety of fields. Malaysia would like to achieve target of USD 15 billion bilateral trade by 2020,” he said.
Malaysia is India’s third largest trading partner in ASEAN. Bilateral trade between Malaysia and India stood at USS12.8 billion in 2015-16, as against USD 16.9 billion in 2014-15.
The President said the visit is taking place as the two countries are celebrating 60 years of diplomatic relations.
“While our relations are historic, we have been able to make significant strides in the last 10 years,” he said.
Mukherjee said commercial and investment relations have become the mainstay of India-Malaysia relations.
“There is also considerable potential for collaboration in defence production especially under the Make in India initiative,” he said as he thanked Malaysia for the close cooperation on counter-terrorism.
The Malaysian Premier inspected the Guard of Honour at Rashtrapati Bhavan and paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat.
He had arrived in India on March 30. In the first leg of his visit, Najib went to Chennai, where he interacted with Malaysian students and met Tamil megastar Rajinikanth.
Najib met Vice President Hamid Ansari today.
He will visit Jaipur during his stay in India.