India places digital economy at the core of bilateral engagement with Malaysia
30 Jan 2024
India will prioritise cooperation with Malaysia in the digital economy sector, placing it at the core of bilateral engagement in moving forward, says Indian High Commisioner to Malaysia, B.N.Reddy.
He said this will be achieved by establishing the Malaysia-India Digital Council and operationalising the Malaysia-India Startup Bridge.
Expressing confidence in the evolving relations between the “New India” and “Madani Malaysia,” Reddy emphasised that these ties would gain increased relevance and significance.
“Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced New India’s determination to become a developed country by 2047, a year India will be celebrating the 100th year of independence.
“Malaysia will become an important partner in our journey as India becomes a developed country,” he said in his speech during the reception on the 75th anniversary of India’s Republic Day here last night, which was graced by Second Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan, and members of the diplomatic corps.
Reddy underscored that the India-Malaysia relationship is rooted not only in shared interests but also in deep values, democracy, rule of law, and a preference for a rule-based international order.
He described it as a natural and innovative partnership, foreseeing 2024 as a promising year for deepening bilateral ties, especially under the stable government led by Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Highlighting the frequent high-level engagements between the two countries, Reddy mentioned that 12 ministerial and deputy ministerial visits had taken place since December 2022, including a joint commission meeting in New Delhi in November last year.
He also emphasised the significant role played by the 2.7 million people of Indian origin in Malaysia, considering them a living bridge for mutual engagement.
The diplomat acknowledged the substantial contribution of Indian expats, around 15,000 in number, to the Malaysian economy, highlighting that this year, the Bharat Club, a society formed by Indian expats, is celebrating its 50th year of establishment.
Reddy also mentioned the presence of about 115,000 Indian workers employed in Malaysia. During his speech, Reddy shared positive statistics about India’s progress, noting that 250 million people in India have come out from multidimensional poverty in the last nine years.
He highlighted the deep roots of the digital economy in India, with unprecedented digital transformation in play, while stressing that India has produced 111 unicorns and boasts the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem, with 120,000 startups developed in seven years.
The current India-Malaysia bilateral trade stands at US$20 billion, with plans to expand to US$25 billion by 2025. Additionally, with approximately 200 flights per week to 11 destinations in India and visa-free travel for Indian nationals, India is emerging as the fastest-growing source country for tourists in Malaysia.
“Tourist numbers from India touched almost half a million during the first nine months of 2023, marking an 88 per cent increase compared to 2022,” said Reddy.