KUALA LUMPUR: Trade between Malaysia and India for 2022-2023 reached US$20 billion (RM93.7 billion) with Malaysia being the third largest trading partner in Asia, said India’s Ministry of External Affairs vice-minister P. Kumaran.

“The trade basket is expanding, given the contemporary and complementary nature of our requirements and emerging opportunities. Our investment ties are also strong and growing,” he said in his keynote address at The India-Asean Startup Summit 2023 yesterday.

He revealed that in the recently held joint commission meeting at New Delhi co-chaired by the country’s two foreign ministers, the two sides agreed for closer collaboration in the area of start-ups.

“The ties between India and Malaysia are centuries-old rooted in history and culture. While maintaining the cultural heritage and links, the partnership has evolved to become modern, contemporary and multifaceted. Today, the economic and business engagement between our two countries is an important driver of our bilateral ties,” said Kumaran.

He highlighted the investments from Malaysia’s Petronas and its renewable energy arm Gentari in India over the last six months in areas of renewable energy and green ammonia.

“This allows Gentari to take advantage of the numerous opportunities available in the renewable energy sector in India, while also enabling it to meet its own strategic priorities and targets in renewable energy. I am confident that renewable energy is a sector that will continue to see significant action in the coming years,” he said.

Additionally, there is a growing interest in Indian companies to expand into Malaysia, given its attractiveness for investors.

“A business friendly environment, proximity to India, opportunities for investment and of course, the cultural connect and history,” he said.

In Malaysia, more than 100 Indian IT companies serve the Malaysian market, Asean, and the rest of the world from Kuala Lumpur.

“With the transformation brought about by digitalisation across sectors, I see a greater role for Indian IT companies including startups in Malaysia and in Asean,” he said.

Datuk Seri Dr S K Devamany, former deputy minister in Prime Minister’s Office, senior advisor of India Asean Startup Summit 2023 said in his welcome speech at the event, “Asean is the next growth zone. India and China are going to be the next superpowers of the economy. Let’s work this journey together.”