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Free Trade
August 14, 2007

FTA to boost textile purchases from India
Malaysia is set to buy more textiles from India next year as the first leg of the ASEAN-India free trade agreement to reduce and eliminate tariffs will be concluded by the end of the year, local media reported.

"Upon implementation of the free trade agreement between ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and India, it is expected that 90% of the tariff lines will be included for tariff reduction and elimination," Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry of Malaysia Ng Lip Yong was quoted by the New Straits Times as saying.

He was speaking to reporters after officiating at the launch of a textile exhibition in Kuala Lumpur on August 13.

Also present were High Commissioner of India to Malaysia Ashok K.Kantha and India's Synthetic & Rayon Textiles Export Promotion Council chairman Sanjeev Saran.

Malaysia recorded $3.3 billion worth of trade with India from January to May this year, which is half of the total trade in 2006.

Major exports products to India are petroleum, electronic and electrical products, while Malaysia buys chemical products, meat and steel from India.

"Textile trade is still small between both countries but we see these numbers growing as tariffs are progressively reduced and eliminated," Ng said.

He said in the first half of the year, Malaysia's exports to India amounted to 47.97 million ringgit ($14.11 million), a decrease of 61.9% from 126.03 million ringgit ($37.07 million) for the same period in 2006.

Meanwhile, purchases from India registered 91.07 million ringgit ($26.79 million) between January and June 2007, 9.3% more than last year.

The two-day exhibition features 18 textile suppliers from India displaying fabrics and yarns, dress materials, embroidered fabrics, furnishings and scarves, among others. Xinhua

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