Guwahati, Monday, November 11, 2019
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Assam signs pact with Malaysia trade body
 GUWAHATI, Nov 10 - The Industries and Commerce Department, Assam, signed an MoU with Malaysia India Business Council (MIBC) in the presence of Industries and Commerce Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary and MIBC president Tan Sri Ir Kuna Sittampalam here today.

Both the parties agreed to explore and improve two-way trade and investment between India and Malaysia in sectors like education, tourism, primary industries, etc. Assistance will be accorded to business or trade missions from India visiting Malaysia and vice versa in seminars, conferences, exhibitions, economic and technical fairs, information bureau, symposia, or similar events taking place in both the countries.

It was also decided to accelerate engagement, trade and cultural exchange to unlock the potential sectors between Assam and Malaysia.

Speaking at the ceremony, Patowary termed business and connectivity as two sides of the same coin and said that the trilateral highway which was expected to open by 2021 would connect Assam to Malaysia through Myanmar and Thailand.

“The Kaladan multi-modal project will also provide access to Sittwe sea port of Myanmar and make it easy to trade with Malaysia. The Mongla and Chittagong ports of Bangladesh will allow the Northeast to access the Southeast Asian market,” he added.

“Though we are divided by boundaries, our roots are same. It is the heart-to-heart connection we share and with the philosophy of Atithi Devo Bhava – the Guest is God, we will work together in each other’s place in the industrial sectors,” he said.

Sittampalam said that apart from the historical perspective, a comprehensive business agreement between India and Malaysia was signed in 2011 and since then trade between the two countries had increased from $8 billion to $17.24 billion in 2018-19.

Calling the MoU as a historical milestone, Sittampalam added that the Northeast could be the food basket for Malaysia as the country imported varieties of food items from India.

Patowary hoped that the MoU would help in embarking a new journey of exploring opportunities and pitching in investment in the potential sectors. Assuring full help and cooperation, he urged the Malaysian delegation to invest in sectors like infrastructure, healthcare, food processing, tea-cum-golf tourism, bamboo and agar which were supported by investment-friendly policies like the State Industrial Policy, Sugar Policy, IT Policy, Export and Logistics Policy, etc.

The minister also requested MIBC to open a Malaysian Consulate in Guwahati and start flight connectivity between Guwahati and Kuala Lumpur.

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