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Upcoming IABF Offers Malaysians 'Unique Business Opportunities' In India
News From : DagangHalal.com (12/10/2010)

MUMBAI, Dec  (Bernama) -- The booming Indian economy is inherent with huge business potential for Malaysian companies and they could tap some "unique business opportunities" in this market of roughly 1.2 billion people.

To facilitate this, Malaysian Trade Commissioner in Mumbai Noraslan Hadi Abdul Kadir said Malaysia would take about 1,000 square feet -- the largest amongst all the Asean countries -- of display space at the India-Asean Business Fair (IABF) that will be held from March 2 to 6, 2011 at New Delhi's exhibition ground Pragati Maidan.

"This fair is the first of its kind and comes after the signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) between India and Asean. The FTA, which went into effect on Jan 1, 2010 will provide a strong impetus to trade and business between the two sides," he told Bernama in an interview here.

IABF is being organised by India's Commerce and Industry Ministry, together with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. It will involve participation by India and all Asean member countries.

"We plan to bring some 80 Malaysian companies to participate in the fair, and will present our industries such as electronics and electrical, furniture, oil and gas, and construction and professional services such as engineering," Noraslan Hadi said.

India's Commerce and Industry Ministry is inviting major importers to IABF which will be flanked by a cultural and food festival, and Minister Anand Sharma has personally extended an invitation to his Asean counterparts, including Malaysian International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed who is expected to come for the IABF's inauguration.

Noraslan Hadi who had his work cut out for him since he arrived in July 2009 as Malaysia's first-ever trade commissioner in Mumbai, is also planning to set up a booth at another event for medical equipment and technology called the Medical Fair India from March 25 to 26, 2011 in Mumbai.

He will also be involved in organising the visits of two business delegations from Malaysia.

The first is a logistics delegation visiting Chennai and Mumbai from May 1 to 6, 2011 while the second will be an automotive spare-parts delegation in November. Dates for the second visit are being finalised.

Asked if it was realistic to achieve the target of US$50 billion in two-way trade by the year 2015 -- this goal was set by Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak during his visit to India this year, Noraslan Hadi replied: "We are working hand to achieve this goal."

Although Asean's joint FTA with India will drive growth in trade and business, he expected the growth momentum in Indo-Malaysian economic relations to intensify when India signs a separate exclusive FTA with Malaysia.

The Indo-Malaysian FTA is being readied for signature next year.

Two-way trade during the first nine months of 2010 amounted to RM21.1 billion, up from RM18 billion in the previous corresponding period.

Though the Indian market's sheer size is mind-boggling, it is not easy to penetrate it because it is considered to be still regulated and governed by a maze of complex trade rules.

But Noraslan Hadi urged exporters not to despair. "Despite the initial hurdles, India's market is very lucrative. You have to be patient and understand its idiosyncrasies," he said.

"India offers too many opportunities.

"Take the furniture business. India, of course, has its own furniture business but there is still good demand for furniture. Malaysian companies may consider setting up a joint venture with Indian small and medium-sized enterprises for furniture manufacturing in India.

"Besides furniture, there is also demand for home appliances, parts and components, food processing, etc. Infrastructure projects offer opportunities for Malaysia's construction companies," he said.

The Malaysian trade commissioner would like to encourage Malaysian businesspeople to use his office facilities when visiting Mumbai.

He is organising a reception to inform Malaysian and Indian businesses about "my existence in Mumbai, and to offer them my help in whatever way I can to promote exports to this country".

This approach, he said, was also in keeping with the idea of Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.


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