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Joint Statement on the Framework for the India-Malaysia Strategic Partnership

October 27, 2010

The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak and the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh met in Kuala Lumpur on 27 October 2010. They recalled their decision during the visit of the Prime Minister of Malaysia to India in January 2010 to expand and deepen India-Malaysia bilateral relations by establishing a strategic partnership between the two countries.

The two Prime Ministers acknowledged the long history of cultural and civilization contacts between the two countries and their shared commitment to democracy and development. They also acknowledged that both sides had made a contribution in promoting economic development and stability in the Asia-Pacific and recognized each others’ responsibility in the promotion of peace, development and security of the region based on a convergence of political and economic interests and aspirations. Both leaders recalled that India and Malaysia have a mutual stake in the progress and prosperity of the other, and expressed their determination to imbue greater dynamism to the relationship through all-round cooperation and engagement. They expressed their common desire to elevate bilateral relations to the level of a long term and strategic partnership based on mutual equality and mutual understanding.

In this context, the two Prime Ministers have identified the following elements of the Strategic Partnership between the two countries:

  • The two leaders agreed to maintain regular dialogue and contact at the summit level, including at the margins of international conferences;
  • Both sides acknowledged the importance of enhancing and deepening all-round cooperation through biennial meetings of the Joint Commission headed by the Foreign Ministers of the two countries, and that the next meeting shall be held in Kuala Lumpur in the first half of 2011;
  • Both sides welcomed the steady high level exchanges between the two countries and agreed to promote more exchanges at the Cabinet level including between the Ministers in charge of Trade & Industry, Railways, Road Transport & Highways, Tourism, Energy including new and renewable energy, Higher Education and Knowledge;
  • Both sides will continue to hold biennial foreign office consultations, including on regional and strategic issues of mutual interest, between the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia and the Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs of India;
  • Both sides also agreed to enhance defence exchanges and cooperation through regular exchanges between the Defence Ministers, senior defence officials, Chiefs of the Armed Services and regular Service-to-Service Staff Talks and regular ships visits.
  • The two leaders agreed to explore the possibilities of joint collaboration on projects of mutual interest in the defence sector on the basis of experience gained by both sides during the successful completion of the SU 30 MKM training programme, including in the areas of industry collaboration / partnership. The Malaysian side looks forward to participation from the Indian defence industry at the soon to be established Malaysian Defence and Security Park. Both sides also agreed to support each others defence exhibitions;
  • The two leaders firmly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and agreed to enhance cooperation in counter-terrorism including through information sharing and the establishment of a bilateral Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism at an early date;
  • The two leaders affirmed their commitment to further strengthen bilateral trade and investment cooperation and deepen their economic engagement as the core of the strategic partnership;
  • Both sides welcomed the conclusion of the negotiations towards a high quality and mutually beneficial Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) to further enhance trade and investment flows between the two countries, and have agreed to sign the CECA by 31 January 2011 and to implement it by 1 July 2011. Both sides shall ensure realization of the above timelines for signing as well as implementation of the CECA;
  • Noting that the expansion of mutual investment will contribute to the reciprocal economic growth of both countries, the two leaders agreed to enhance cooperation and support at the governmental level to further strengthen existing bilateral collaboration in infrastructure development and involvement in infrastructure projects particularly in the construction industry and provide business opportunities in investment through joint business and government collaboration;
  • The two sides will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation Relating to the Provision of Technical Assistance Services on Highway Management and Development. This MoU will further enhance the participation by Malaysian engineering and consultancy companies in the development of national highways in India;
  • The two leaders welcomed the establishment of a high-level India-Malaysia CEOs Forum that was launched in Putrajaya during the visit, to develop enhanced partnership and cooperation at the business level. The two sides will also consider specific recommendations made by the CEOs Forum to the two Governments on improvements in the business environment and on measures for enhancing investment and trade flows between the two countries in the future;
  • Both sides agreed to explore the possibilities of enhancing cooperation in the financial sector including through participation in each others’ capital markets, through the exchange of views between the Finance Ministries and the relevant agencies of both countries. The Indian side welcomes the decision of the Malaysian side to give a commercial banking license to Indian banks;
  • Both sides recognized the competitive advantage of Indian software companies in IT and ITES, and have agreed to set up a Joint ICT Talent Development Consultative Committee (JICTDC) involving stakeholders from both the governments, relevant agencies, industry players and training institutions to make specific recommendations to both the governments for IT skills training, talent development and greater engagement of Indian IT companies in Malaysia;
  • Both sides agreed to study the possibility of enhancing the scope and level of joint collaboration in the hydrocarbons sector between PETRONAS of Malaysia and ONGC Videsh Limited of India in third countries, as well as importance of identifying possible collaborative projects in the new and renewable energy sector through the establishment of a Joint Working Group between the Ministry of Energy, Green Technology & Water of Malaysia and the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy of India;
  • The two leaders recognized that underpinning the two countries relationship are vibrant and longstanding people-to-people ties. In this regard, both sides will strive to promote a quantum leap in tourism, academic, culture and people-to-people exchanges between India and Malaysia, including through the development of specific proposals for University-to-University level collaborations, vocational and English language teaching, for consideration by the two Governments. They agreed that the Joint Working Group on Higher Education shall meet in Kuala Lumpur as early as possible for that purpose;
  • Both sides welcomed the establishment of the Indian Cultural Centre in Kuala Lumpur and will encourage wider cultural exchanges between the two countries;
  • Both sides welcomed the establishment of an Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) India Chair in Development Studies at the University of Malaya, Contemporary Malaysian Studies Centre at the University of Madras and note the intention by the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur to establish a Centre for Engineering Excellence at the University Sains Malaysia;
  • The two leaders acknowledged that the partnership has moved beyond the bilateral framework and that the two countries share a mutual interest in cooperating for peace, prosperity and security of the Asia-Pacific region and beyond;
  • Both sides recognized the central role of ASEAN in the regional processes and the importance of greater participation by India in regional initiatives in the long term interests of the region;
  • Both sides recognized the importance of concluding an ambitious and mutually beneficial ASEAN-India FTA in Services and Investments at the earliest possible time in order to give full play to the economic forces of the region in the service of the two peoples;
  • Malaysia welcomed India’s initiative to revive Nalanda University to strengthen regional educational cooperation among the Asian countries. Both sides also recognized the need to establish more centres of excellence in Asia;
  • Both sides underscored the importance of open, transparent and inclusive regional arrangements based on mutuality of interests with ASEAN as the driving force. They welcomed ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations, ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and East Asia Summit (EAS) as important regional mechanisms that advance peace, economic growth and stability of the Asia-Pacific region. Both sides welcomed the progress on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement in East Asia (CEPEA);
  • The two leaders agreed that a comprehensive reform of the United Nations remains a priority in order for the organization to effectively address today’s global challenges. The two leaders also agreed to work in partnership towards achieving a more representative, more efficient and more effective UN Security Council especially its expansion in both permanent and non-permanent categories;
  • Both sides reiterated their common commitment to nuclear non-proliferation objectives based on a fair, universal, non-discriminatory and verifiable regime, and express serious concern at the threat of proliferation of WMD and their means of delivery, and pledge to work together to counter such threats.

The Prime Ministers of India and Malaysia reiterated that with the exchange of visits between them in 2010, the two countries are embarking on a new stage in India-Malaysia relations through the establishment of this Strategic Partnership. Pursuant to this, the two Prime Ministers directed the concerned agencies of both governments to implement the elements outlined in the Declaration in order that form and content be given to the Strategic Partnership as soon as possible.

October 27, 2010


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