International Affairs



It gives me great pleasure to receive the Letter of Credence from His Majesty Tuanku Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah the Yang di-Pertuan Agong XI, appointing you as the High Commissioner of Malaysia to India. Please convey to His Majesty that I fully reciprocate the kind sentiments expressed by him and would also like to extend to His Majesty my warmest regards and best wishes for his personal health and well being, as well as for the continued prosperity and welfare of the people of Malaysia. I would also like to warmly welcome you to our country and hope that your stay will be enjoyable as well as fruitful.

India and Malaysia have enjoyed traditionally close and friendly relations based on centuries-old cultural, commercial and other contacts. The peoples of our two countries have had sustained maritime, trade and cultural exchanges since ancient times. In recent years, our relations have grown substantially in all areas, including the economic and commercial sectors, cultural and academic exchanges, scientific and technical cooperation and human resource development.

The cooperation between the two countries in the areas of trade and investment is on the upswing. Malaysia is now India's largest trading partner among the ASEAN countries with a total annual bilateral trade of over US $ 1.8 billion. The private sectors of the two countries are providing the necessary dynamism to the expansion of economic and commercial interaction. It is gratifying to note that there is substantial two-way investment between our two countries. While a number of Indian entrepreneurs and investors have invested in Malaysia, Malaysian investment in India has also been on the increase. Malaysia now ranks first among the South-East Asian countries and eighth globally in terms of investment approvals during 1991-1998. I hope that Indian businessmen would look at the opportunities for further investment in Malaysia in the area of Information Technology. I am confident that with re-doubling of efforts by both sides it should be possible to make further strides in the areas of commercial and economic cooperation.

The positive trend in our economic interaction is complemented by a progressively better understanding of each other's legitimate aspirations and concerns. Regular dialogue, and contacts between our two Governments as well as academic and people-to-people contacts have strengthened this understanding. High-level exchanges occupy a significant place in this framework. We have also maintained regular contact in the UN, NAM, Commonwealth, WTO and other international fora. This interaction has enabled us to find meaningful common ground on issues of regional and global importance, as well as understanding of each other's positions on issues of common interest.

We have found our dialogue partnership with ASEAN to be an enriching experience. Our relationship with ASEAN constitutes a vital element of our foreign policy, as we seek to further strengthen and consolidate our relations with this region in our immediate neighbourhood. Our membership of the ASEAN Regional Forum has given us an opportunity for useful interaction with member countries on issues of peace and security in the region. We value our interaction with Malaysia in the ASEAN framework.

India continues to be committed to the path of economic reform and liberalisation. Benefits of the reform process are visible in the form of better growth rates, higher investment and trade flows in the post-liberalisation era. Agriculture has experienced steady growth and India has been increasingly emerging as a leading exporter of agro-based products. Impressive growth rates have also been achieved in sectors like information technology, automobile industry, electronics, industrial and agricultural machinery etc. We accord high priority to the development of infrastructure which is the key to accelerated growth in all sectors of the economy. Private and foreign participation is being encouraged in the infrastructure sector. The participation of Malaysian companies in this sector is a welcome development.

Excellency, we look forward to strengthening our stable, long-term cooperative relationship with Malaysia based on sustained economic partnership and political dialogue, in the spirit of goodwill and for the mutual benefit of our peoples. We consider that the active involvement of our two countries in promoting South-South Cooperation and the Non-aligned Movement will be a constructive and steadying factor in the rapidly globalising world of today.

Excellency, I am confident that during your tenure India and Malaysia will continue to work together to take our bilateral relations forward in a meaningful manner. I take this opportunity to extend my Government's full cooperation in your efforts to further strengthen our bilateral relations.

Thank you

Jai Hind