Jaishree Balasubramanian / PTI
Kuala Lumpur: India and Malaysia have adopted a report recommending the establishment of a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) between the two countries, whose bilateral ties are on an accelerated upward swing.
The report by a Joint Study Group was signed and adopted by Commerce Secretary Gopal K Pillai and Abdul Rahman Mamat, Secretary General of the Malaysian International Trade and Industry on behalf of their respective nations over the weekend.
The JSG has recommended the India-Malaysia CECA cover trade in goods, trade in services, investment and other areas of bilateral economic cooperation and partnership.
A top official at the Indian High Commission here told PTI that the group had recommended that the negotiations on trade in goods, trade in services, investment and other areas of bilateral cooperation commence simultaneously. Both sides have expressed keenness to commence CECA negotiations from January 2008 after requisite internal approvals.
Bilateral trade between the two countries is likely to reach $16 billion by 2012 from the current $6.5 billion, the report said and identified items of trade complementarity and comparative advantage where trade could be enhanced.
The Group has also listed areas for trade in services where there was scope for higher participation and has suggested trade facilitation measures and initiatives for enhancing two-way investment flows and cooperation in other areas.
Pillai said there was a need for both countries to exploit complementarities in trade, services and investments. He added that business groups had already started the process and this required to be facilitated further by the two governments, according to a press release issued by the High Commission here.