NEW DELHI - Indian and Malaysian business leaders have signed one of the biggest trade deals in Malaysian history, amounting to US$36bil (S$50.3 billion).
The amount is even higher than the RM144bil (S$45.5 billion) worth of deals signed by Malaysia in China just four months ago.
The bulk of the Indo-Malaysian projects - worth a total of US$32.13bil - are to be implemented in Malaysia, providing a vital boost to the local economy.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who witnessed the exchange of 31 business MoUs here yesterday, said this proved the "might of the Malaysian and Indian economies".
"It is a whopping figure and an indication of the confidence we have in each other.
"I wish to pay tribute to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his efforts and leadership. Even while he was fasting on water, he welcomed me for talks," Najib said in his luncheon address at the Malaysia-India Business Forum here yesterday.
One of the significant agreements is for the development of an integrated maritime city on Pulau Carey between MMC Port Holdings Sdn Bhd, Sime Darby Property Bhd and Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (India) worth US$22.78bil.
There will also be a Pulau Carey port project between the MMC and Adani Ports estimated to be worth US$9.39bil.
Quality halal products are also on the menu, with a meat supply deal between ECER Halal Park, Lotus Global Foods Sdn Bhd and Mirha Exports Pvt Ltd.
In India, there will be a Bangalore Smart City Project between SkyBlue Media Sdn Bhd, PSL Venture Sdn Bhd, Drachen Welle Engineering Sdn Bhd and Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike.
The other agreements involved highway construction, the building of solar power plants, palm oil development and the creation of higher learning facilities.
Also present at the forum were International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and India's Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Najib, who also briefed Indian captains of industry on Malaysia's economic and business potential, said he was happy to see Malaysian companies active in India, citing AirAsia India as an example.
"I'm glad that Indian investors continue to have confidence in Malaysia, as shown by their decision to expand and diversify their existing operations in our country," he added.
He said with the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) now defunct, the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which would also include China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, had become crucial.
"I hope the RCEP can be realised by the end of the year or the latest, by early 2018," he said.