- Published on Wednesday, 14 December 2016 18:56
PUTRAJAYA: The time is ripe for business and political leaders to come together to support Malaysia's role in building a more unified and resurgent Asia, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
He said the country was youtful, had favourable prospects including growth forecast of up to five per cent, as well as, an increasingly well-educated population and blessed with many resources.
"Malaysia maintains growth rates, even in the current challenging times for the world economy, that is the envy of Europe and the West.
"Whether investors want Malaysia to be their target market or set up here to take advantage of the country being a regional gateway, companies and individuals will find so many opportunities upon their arrival here," he said at the Asian Business Leaders Conclave here today.
Najib said Malaysia was politically stable with a well-developed legal system and attractive incentives for investors.
"Our economic fundamentals are sound. We posted a growth of 4.3 per cent in the third quarter of this year, unemployment and inflation were low and gross national income has nearly doubled since 2010," he said.
On Malaysia-India relation, Najib said there was great depth and history in the relations between both countries.
"India has been Malaysia's largest export destination in the South Asian region ever since 1998," he said.
The premier also said since 2003, bilateral trade between both countries had increased by more than four-fold to RM47 billion last year.
"Over the last few years, they (India-Malaysia relations) have been enhanced by our agreement to form a strategic partnership - the Malaysia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (MICECA)," he said.
Najib said Malaysia and India now had extensive channels that covered trade in goods and services, investment and movement of people between the two countries.
"They add to the benefits brought by the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement, further facilitating two-way trade, services, investment and economic relations in general," he said.
Najib added that India was Malaysia's 10th largest trading partner, seventh largest export destination and 12th largest import source in 2015.
He said Malaysia, on the other hand, was India's 14th largest trading partner, 19th largest export destination and 15th largest import source.
Investment from India has created thousands of jobs in Malaysia and countless leading Malaysian companies, including Khazanah Nasional Bhd, Petronas and Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd, were active in India.
The two-day inaugural conclave themed, "Moving Towards A Boundaryless Asia, is a platform for the biggest leaders of Asia, along with bureaucrats, to converge and facilitate conversations on Asia as a business hub and the role of rising business leaders.