Close on the heels of a free trade agreement with Japan, India today signed a comprehensive and ambitious agreement with Malaysia that envisages liberal trade in goods and services and a stable and competitive investment regime to promote bilateral investment flows.
Commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma and Malaysia's minister for international trade and industry Mustapa Mohamed signed the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) at Putrajaya, in Kuala Lumpur, in the presence of Malaysian Prime Minister Mohd Najib Razak.
The agreement will come into effect on 1 July 2011 and the two countries have agreed to review the agreement after completion of one year and every year thereafter.
The goods package under the India-Malaysia CECA takes the tariff liberalisation beyond the India-ASEAN FTA commitments on specific items of mutual interest for both the countries.
Under the agreement, India will get market access in the Malaysian market for goods, including fruits such as mangoes, banana and guava, basmati rice, two-wheelers and cotton garments. The agreement, however, provides for protection of sensitive sectors.
The services agreement provides for commercially meaningful cooperation in sectors and modes of interest to each other such as accounting and auditing, architecture, urban planning, engineering services, medical and dental, IT and ITES, management consulting services etc.