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NEWS UPDATES 20 December 2009

India seeks to attract Malaysian investors to infrastructure projects

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India has proposed to set up a high-powered team to entice more Malaysian road builders to invest in the country's growing highway infrastructure projects, reported Malaysian national news agency Bernama.

Indian Road Transport and Highways Minister Kamal Nath said the team would help to facilitate government-to-government support in the sector, where India is seeking large foreign investments and expertise.

"We have discussed the possibility of government-to-government engagement between both countries. A team will be formed with immediate effect to facilitate Malaysian investment in the highway development sector," Nath told the media here.

India is on fast track to complete a massive 7,000 km of roads annually, with a target of 20 km daily, to connect the length and breadth of the country with the much needed infrastructure to propel its economy.

India's 3.3 million km road network system is the second largest in the world, after the United States. Indian roads carry 60 percent of the freight and over 80 percent of the passenger traffic.

The government had allocated $92 billion until 2012 to develop its highway projects.

"We want Malaysian companies to participate in highways development programmes in the capacity as bidders and consultants.

"We also want to learn from Malaysia's experiences in tolling technologies. Malaysia has been present in this sector for the past 15-20 years and is currently engaged in 35 projects in the country," added Nath.

The team is likely to comprise of the planning commission, finance and the roads ministry.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Malaysia and India is in the pipeline to bolster cooperation in the sector.

Malaysian Works Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor held talks with Nath in Delhi earlier this week.


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