Tuesday March 19, 2013
Mísia-India trade hits new high despite slowdown in Indiaís economic growth
MUMBAI: India-Malaysia trade hit a record high of RM41.2bil in 2012, a 7.3% growth over 2011, despite a slowdown in India's economic growth.
“The all-time high levels were recorded in both imports and exports in 2012.
“Malaysia's exports to India amounted to RM29.3bil, posting a 4.2% growth over 2011, while imports from India touched RM11.8bil, up 15.9% over 2011,” Malaysian trade commissioner in India Noraslan Hadi Abdul Kadir told Bernama.
The first-ever Malaysian trade commissioner in Mumbai since the Malaysia External Trade Corp (Matrade) opened its first office in Mumbai, Noraslan has built up a large contact base among local industry and trade associations as well as the business community.
“Imports from India into Malaysia have surged, thereby reducing India's trade deficit. The rise in bilateral trade is also due to the free trade agreement (FTA) signed between India and Malaysia, which has reduced many trade barriers,” he added.
However, many Indian companies are not aware of the existence of the FTA, which could open up greater opportunities for Indian exporters.
India is Malaysia's 11th top trading partner in the world, an improvement from the 12th ranking in 2011. Malaysia's main export item to India continues to be palm oil (25.2%), followed by electronic and electrical products (19.4%), crude petroleum (17.4%), chemicals and chemical-based products (10.6%) and transport equipment (4.8%).
Indian exports to Malaysia comprised refined petroleum products (18%), chemicals and chemical products (16.3%), live animals and meat (8.9%), cereals (6%) and electrical and electronic products (5.2%).
On outlook, Noraslan said even if growth was not double-digit but continued in a steady and consistent manner, “that in itself is a good sign.”
He said exports of agro-based products from India had good potential, but “big-ticket items” such as infrastructure development projects involving ports, airports and power supply, in which Malaysia can play a big role, could provide a strong boost to trade.
The information technology sector also offers both Indian and Malaysian companies opportunities to team up in third countries.
Malaysian companies, with their strength in automobile spare parts manufacturing, could create joint ventures with manufacturing operations in this sector in India, rather than engaging in mere shipping, which was not cost-effective, he said.
He also urged Malaysian companies to pro-actively pursue business in India by visiting their Indian counterparts instead of just doing desk research, saying “the right way to know your partners and market is to visit the country and hold personal meetings.” - Bernama