Joint statement on 60th anniversary of India-Malaysia diplomatic relations

Apr 3, 2017

At the invitation of Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi, Najib Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia, undertook a State Visit to India on March 30 to April 4. During the visit, Prime Minister Najib met with Hon’ble Shri Pranab Mukherjee, President of India; Shri M. Hamid Ansari, Vice President of India; and held a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Modi.

This is Prime Minister Najib’s third visit to India since assuming office as prime minister in 2009.

In the context of the two countries commemorating the 60th anniversary of India-Malaysia diplomatic relations, the two leaders hailed the strong bonds of friendship forged through shared historical, cultural and social ties between the two countries and their peoples. The presence of a very large Indian-origin community in Malaysia and their significant participation in the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas serve to bring the two countries even closer.

The strategic partnership established between the two countries in October 2010 has built upon the traditionally close relations and taken the relationship to the next level by infusing it with greater dynamism and making it truly multi-dimensional

The Prime Ministers expressed happiness at the excellent relations between the two countries as well as the impressive strides which have been taken since the visit of the Prime Minister of India to Malaysia in November 2015.

The two leaders underlined their strong commitment to multiculturalism, democracy and pluralism as they promote economic growth and development for the benefit of their peoples.

Acknowledging the enhanced interest of business leaders in taking advantage of business opportunities in each other’s country, they expressed their satisfaction at jointly inaugurating the Asian Business Leaders Conclave in Kuala Lumpur in December 2016, which brought together prominent business leaders of Asia, including from India and Malaysia.

The two leaders also welcomed the strong cooperation in the areas of defence and security as well as in socio-economic sectors, particularly health and education. They agreed to continue the focus on tourism and cultural links to enhance the already vibrant people-to-people links.

Both prime ministers acknowledged the contribution made by Malaysia and India in promoting growth, economic development and stability in the Asia–Pacific region, and recognised each other’s responsibility in the promotion of peace, development and security of the region, and beyond, based on a convergence of political and socio-economic interests and aspirations.

With a view to providing a further fillip to the strong bilateral relations in the context of the 60th anniversary of India-Malaysia diplomatic relations and to further enhance the strategic partnership between the two countries, both prime ministers agreed as follows:

– Acknowledging the close interaction between the leaders of the two countries over the last six decades, agreed to continue to hold regular Summits, including on the margins of multilateral events;

– To hold regular meetings of the Joint Commission headed by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the two countries;

– To arrange regular exchanges at the Cabinet level between the Ministers in charge of Trade & Industry, Transport, Public Works and Infrastructure, Tourism & Culture, to take further advantage of the investment, trade and other opportunities opening up in each other’s country;

– Welcoming the growing interaction and exchanges between the States of India and Malaysia, especially in the areas of investment and projects, agreed to promote greater linkages between the States of the two countries;

– To hold regular Foreign Office Consultations between the Senior Officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia and the Ministry of External Affairs of India;

– Welcoming the visit of Honourable Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Honourable Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha  and other Parliamentarians from India to Malaysia in 2016, reaffirmed their continued commitment to Parliamentary democracy and to promote further cooperation between the Parliaments of both countries;

– Welcomed the holding of events to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of India-Malaysia diplomatic relations, especially the exhibition by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia to be held at the National Museum in Kuala Lumpur where the Indian High Commission in Malaysia is actively involved;

– Noting the substantial investment by the business community in each other’s country over the years, appreciated the efforts taken in both countries to enhance the ease of doing business and provide a conducive environment for investors;

– Welcomed the recent initiatives taken by Malaysian companies and investors to participate in projects in India, especially in infrastructure and construction sectors, and explore newer areas of joint collaboration;

– Commended the contribution of IRCON over the past two decades on railway cooperation in Malaysia, and welcomed IRCON’s significant interest to participate in railway projects in the future;

– Expressed satisfaction at the participation of Malaysian companies in road projects in Rajasthan and looked forward to the conclusion of significant infrastructure projects in Rajasthan and other States of India with Malaysian companies;

– Acknowledging the importance given to digital initiatives and e-commerce by the two countries, agreed to enhance cooperation in this area, and, in this context, acknowledged the contribution of Indian IT firms, particularly those located in Cyberjaya;

– Welcomed the initiative of ASEAN-India Business Council (AIBC) to host the ASEAN-India Biz Tech Conference and Expo to be held in Kuala Lumpur in May 2017 where prominent members of the business community of India and ASEAN are expected to participate;

– Recognised the need to finalise the Regional Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Partnership (RCEP) Agreement at an early date on mutually acceptable terms;

– Both leaders recognised the importance of further strengthening bilateral economic cooperation and the many complementarities that exist and opportunities that could be derived from the close relations between the two countries.  In this regard, they noted that regular meetings between the trade ministers of both countries are important and could act as the platform as envisaged under the Malaysia-India Strategic Partnership. The visit of Mustapa Mohamed, Honourable Minister of International Trade and Industry to India in May 2016, and his meeting with Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, Honourable Minister of Commerce underlines such importance;

– Both prime ministers welcomed the reconstitution of the high-level India-Malaysia CEOs’ Forum as agreed upon earlier with a view to re-energising it and applauded their meeting held in New Delhi on 31 March 2017.  Both Prime Ministers took note of the specific recommendations by the CEOs and urged for time-bound meaningful follow-ups and implementation of these recommendations;

– Recognised the importance of the bilateral Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) in providing the foundation for economic cooperation;

– Both sides agreed to explore the possibilities of enhancing cooperation in the financial sector including through participation in each other’s capital market. Both sides look forward to grant commercial banking licences to each other’s banks;

– The prime ministers of both countries emphasised the importance of collaboration for greater opportunities between the SMEs of the two countries;

– The two leaders welcomed the signing of the MoU between the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and the Association of Food Scientists and Technologies (India) – Mumbai Chapter; the MoU between MPOB and Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT), India; the MoU between Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) and Solvent Extractors’ Association of India; and the MoU between MPOC and Mumbai Dabbawala Association;

– Acknowledged the growing defence cooperation between the two countries, especially after the signing of the MoU on Defence Cooperation in 1993;

– Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) and Indian Air Force (IAF) are  working on the terms of reference for the setting up of the Aircraft Safety and  Maintenance Forum for cooperation in training, maintenance, technical support and safety-related issues;

– Welcomed the proposal for Navy to Navy field excercise between the two countries;

– Welcomed the outcome of the joint Army exercises HARIMAU SHAKTI and agreed to hold the exercises to company level, and subsequently as tri-services exercises;

– Noting the visit of Indian Director General of Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) in February 2017, welcomed the operationalisation of mechanism for sharing information including for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) and white shipping;

– Agreed to finalise at an early date the MoU between Ministry of Shipping, Government of India and Ministry of Transport, Government of Malaysia on cooperation in Merchant Shipping;

– Agreed to enhance defence exchanges through regular dialogue at various levels, including between the Defence Ministers, senior officials, Chiefs of Services Talks and through military-military talks;

– Agreed to finalise the Treaty on Transfer of Prisoners on mutually acceptable terms;

– Look forward to concluding the MoU on Cooperation in Combating Terrorism and Transnational Crime;

– Noted the Agreement signed between the Government of Malaysia and the Government of India on Cooperation in Science and Technology in Kuala Lumpur on 12 September 1998;

– Acknowledging the important collaboration between the two countries in the field of Science and Technology, called for the convening of the Third Joint Committee on Science and Technology in India;

– Noted the needs to facilitate Malaysian and Indian scientists in academic exchanges through international conferences on science and technology and to conduct joint research, development and design projects that include mutual exchange of research findings, scientific and technical information and documentation;

– Welcomed the significant strides taken in the area of cooperation in Indian traditional medicine, especially Ayurveda and Siddha;

– Noted with satisfaction the outcome of the 4th Bilateral Technical Meeting on Cooperation in the Field of Traditional System of Medicine between India and Malaysia held in December 2016 in Kuala Lumpur;

– Welcomed the launching of the Varmam therapy of Siddha during the 4th Bilateral Technical Meeting on Cooperation in the Field of Traditional System of Medicine;

– Welcomed the continued deputation of an Ayurveda practitioner and two therapists from India as well as a Siddha practitioner under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation programme of the Government of India;

– Welcomed the signing of an MoU between Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia and National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur, in December 2016, envisaging cooperation in the field of education, training, research and popularisation of Ayurveda system of medicine in Malaysia;

– Welcomed the finalization of the MoU to establish a Chair for Ayurveda in Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia – the first such initiative in Malaysia in Indian Traditional Medicine;

– Agreed to finalize the MoU on Cooperation in the field of Health and Medicine;

– Acknowledging the important contribution of Indian educational institutions for the educational requirements of Malaysian students over the last six decades, especially in the field of medicine, welcomed the conclusion of an MoU between Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) and Association of Indian Universities (AIU) on mutual recognition of Educational Qualifications between India and

– Malaysia to encourage students to study in each other’s country in all courses;

– Welcomed the contribution over the years to the Indian Scholarship Trust Fund, managed by the High Commission of India in Kuala Lumpur, which has been operating since 1954 for deserving Malaysian Indian students;

– Reiterated that the historical and cultural links between the two countries have been the bedrock for stronger relations and have been strengthened further over the last 60 years including through enhanced tourism links and cultural activities in each other’s country;

– Welcomed the initiatives taken on both sides, including visits of Malaysian Minister of Tourism and Culture to India in 2016 and 17, to increase the number of tourists visiting each other’s countries.

– Welcomed the signing of the bilateral Air Services Agreement which would enhance air connectivity between the two countries;

– Welcomed the initiative by the Government of Malaysia to expand the visa-free programme to the Indian nationals visiting Malaysia effective from 1 April 2017 until 31 March 2018 under the Electronic Travel Registration and Information (eNTRI);

– Welcomed the conclusion of the Bilateral Work Agreement for spouses of diplomatic agents and members of the administration and technical staff at diplomatic missions and spouses of consular officers at consular posts assigned to official duties in the respective countries;

– Welcomed the renaming of the Indian Cultural Centre in Kuala Lumpur as “Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Indian Cultural Centre” to commemorate the contribution of Indian-origin community in Malaysia who served in large numbers in Netaji’s Indian National Army and Rani of Jhansi regiment;

– Noted India’s proposal for a Memorial for the sacrifice of Indian soldiers at the Battle of Kampar in Perak during the Second World War and agreed to discuss further with a view to setting up this Memorial in the state of Perak;

– Welcomed the continued and valuable contribution of Indian workers to the Malaysian economy;

– Agreed to further enhance mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries in the field of labour and to address problems and issues through Joint Working Group Meeting, as well as exchanges of visits and information on latest policies, laws and regulations. In this context, both sides agreed on early conclusion of a revised MoU on labour and manpower;

– Welcomed the signing of an MoU between the Government of Andhra Pradesh and PEMANDU in the area of performance management, project delivery and monitoring, and agreed to further strengthen cooperation in this direction for the mutual benefit of all sides;

– Noted the excellent ongoing cooperation between the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, India and Public Service Department, Malaysia under the MoU on Cooperation in the field of Public Administration and Governance;

– Recognizing that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to peace and stability in the region, the Leaders reiterated their strong commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and stressed that there can be no justification for acts of terror on any grounds whatsoever. They condemned in the strongest terms the recent barbaric terror attacks in the region. They asserted that the fight against terrorism should not only seek to disrupt and eliminate terrorists, terror organisations and networks, but should also identify, hold accountable and take strong measures against States, which encourage, support and finance terrorism, provide sanctuary to terrorists and terror groups, and falsely extol their virtues. There should be no glorification of terrorists as martyrs. They emphasised the need for urgent measures to counter and prevent the spread of terrorism, violent extremism and radicalization and expressed their determination to take concrete measures to step up cooperation and coordination among the law enforcement, intelligence and security organisations;

– Welcomed the ongoing cooperation between the two countries on counter terrorism and agreed to further enhance cooperation in this direction;

– Welcoming the visit of Honourable Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia to India in July 2016, recognised the importance of continued sharing of information to address the challenges posed by terrorism, and other traditional and non-traditional threats;

– Welcomed the participation of senior Ministers from Malaysia in the annual Counter-Terrorism Conference organised by the India Foundation in India;

– Noted the increasing cooperation under the recently signed MoU on Cyber Security between the two countries;

– Reaffirming that the two countries share a mutual interest in cooperating for peace, prosperity and security of the Asia-Pacific region and beyond, called upon the international community to strengthen multilateral regimes to effectively address the challenges posed by terrorism;

– Recognised the importance of moderation as espoused by the Global Movement of Moderates that promotes dialogue, mutual respect and understanding, tolerance and harmony as an approach to counter all forms of extremism. In this regard, they encouraged collaboration between relevant establishments from India and the Global Movement of Moderates Foundation (GMMF) to undertake mutually beneficial activities and programmes towards promoting moderation;

– The two Leaders reiterated their commitment to respecting freedom of navigation and over flight, and unimpeded lawful commerce, based on the principles of international law, as reflected notably in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982. They urged all parties to resolve disputes through peaceful means without resorting to threat or use of force and exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities, and avoid unilateral actions that raise tensions, and they emphasized that all parties should show utmost respect to the UNCLOS 1982, which establishes the international legal order of the seas and oceans;

– Reaffirming the importance of strategic engagement of India in regional initiatives, particularly in the ASEAN context to bring about greater security and stability in the region, appreciated the growing engagement between India and ASEAN, especially after the initiation of the Act East Policy of the Government of India;

– Welcomed the initiatives of India to host the inaugural events to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of India-ASEAN Partnership, and, in this context, noted the various events being planned by India in the various ASEAN countries and in India to commemorate this Anniversary;

– In the context of reforming the United Nations Security Council, took note of India’s aspirations and credentials for permanent membership of a reformed United Nations Security Council, and urged for expeditious and comprehensive reform of the United Nations.

The following Memoranda of Understanding / Agreement were signed during the visit:

(A) Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation on the Proposed Development of a Urea and Ammonia Manufacturing Plant in Malaysia and Offtake of Existing Surplus Urea from Malaysia to India;

(B) Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Sports;

(C) Memorandum of Understanding between Association of Indian Universities (AIU), New Delhi and Malaysian Qualifications  Agency (MQA), Malaysia on Mutual Recognition of the Educational Qualifications;

(D) Memorandum of Understanding between Pembangunan Sumber Manusia Berhad and Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India;

(E) Memorandum of Understanding between Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) and Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT) on Collaboration in Technology Development in the Field of Palm Oil;

(F) Memorandum of Understanding between Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEBD) and MIGHT Technology Nurturing Sdn. Bhd. on the Implementation of Fourth Generation Technology Park in the State of Andhra Pradesh, India; and

(G) Air Services Agreement between the Government of Malaysia and the Government of India.

Prime Minister Najib expressed his appreciation to the Prime Minister of India for the warm reception and hospitality extended to him and his delegation for the visit and invited the Prime Minister of India to undertake another visit to Malaysia at a mutually convenient date, which was accepted by the prime minister of India. – Ministry of Foreign Affairs