India, Malaysia should work closely to boost trade ties: Malaysian Industries Minister

NEW DELHI, Aug 2: Malaysia’s Primary Ind-ustries Minister Teresa Kok today said India and Malaysia should work closely to enhance bilateral trade ties, as sectors like rubber and palm oil offer huge potential.
Addressing a press conference here, the Malaysian Minister said she discussed issues related to palm oil and rubber trade in her meeting with Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday.
“Malaysia is also a founding member of the WTO (World Trade Organisation). We propose free trade. We need to work closely so that there can be closer trade ties between India and Malaysia,” she said.
Kok also highlighted the significant potential for growth in India-Malaysia rubber trade due to India’s rapidly expanding healthcare sector.
“As the world’s largest manufacturer and exporter of high-quality medical gloves, we have garnered solid knowledge and experience in producing medical gloves.
“Apart from promoting gloves, we also want to reach out to healthcare workers and share our knowledge on the importance of proper selection and usage of medical gloves to control the transmission of infectious diseases,” the minister said.
Speaking at a seminar, the minister said, trade in rubber products between India and Malaysia has increased remarkably over the years.
Exports of Malaysian rubber products to India recorded an average growth of 16.7 per cent per annum from USD 20.1 million in 2009 to USD 80.8 million in 2018.
Similarly, Malaysia’s imports in the same category from India have increased from USD 4.1 million in 2009 to USD 29.7 million in 2018.
These trade figures indicate that India is an important market for Malaysian rubber products due to its growing healthcare sector, the minister said in a keynote address at the seminar on “Managing Infection Control-Selecting the Right Gloves” organised by the Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council.
Malaysia’s rubber exports to India include gloves, hoses, latex threads, cables, rubber catheters, footwear, and rubber automotive components, while India’s key exports to Malaysia include tyres, foam products, hoses, gloves, catheters and rubber balls.
“The FTAs provide opportunities for greater trade between India and Malaysia as well as with ASEAN. Malaysia’s total exports to India grew 5.1 per cent to USD 8.8 billion while exports from India to Malaysia touched USD 6.5 billion in 2018,” the Malaysian minister pointed out.
Malaysia’s annual trade with India has reached USD 15 billion, having received a boost from a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) and a regional FTA with India through Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
“Prospects of these products in India is tremendous as economy of India grows and also its awareness of healthcare,” said Chik Chan Chee, chairman of the Malaysian Rubber Export Promotion Council. (PTI)