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BW Businessworld

'GST A Game-changer For Malaysia; It Will Certainly Help India'

In an exclusive conversation with BW Businessworld’s Editor-in-Chief Anurag Batra, Malaysia Prime Minister Mohd Najib Tun Razak talks about his just-concluded visit to India

Photo Credit : PTI

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In an exclusive conversation with BW Businessworld’s Editor-in-Chief Anurag Batra, Malaysia Prime Minister Mohd Najib Tun Razak talks about his just-concluded visit to India. Among other things, he discusses the meeting he had with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. He also says like in India, Malaysia initially faced resistance over GST, but eventually it proved to be a game-changer for the country.

How has your trip to India been?
It has been wonderful. India is an important partner for Malaysia and we have had historic ties between the two nations -- on both trade and cultural fronts. Today, Malaysia is home to one of the largest Indian diasporas. People of Indian origin constitute 7.4 per cent of our population. So far I have met several Indian dignitaries and shared several on-going and future initiatives with them.

How did your meeting with the India Prime Minister go?
It was a pretty fruitful meeting, we discussed various topics of importance. Apart from the professional relationship, personally we are very good friends. I personally appreciate the steps he is taking to initiate reforms. Specifically the GST. Just like India, we faced significant resistance to GST back in 2014 before we rolled it out at 6 per cent. Had we not, we would have been on a negative growth path. So GST is a game-changer and with the political capital Mr Modi has, I certainly hope that Indian government is able to roll out GST and I wish the best to the PM for that.

As I said, we discussed other issues as well. He gave me a very warm welcome. Before coming, I had tweeted how I was looking forward to meeting him and he replied to that tweet extending his warm welcome.

I also met Rajasthan Chief Minister, Ms Vasundhara Raje. The state is partnering with us on several projects and we look forward to continued cooperation.

How do you ensure increased economic cooperation with India?
India and Malaysia are natural partners. We need continuity in our fruitful relations to increase economic cooperation. There is large investment activity going on both ways. The ability to carry out existing contracts and those in future will certainly add synergy to our relations, no doubt.

What would you like to change in the Indo-Malaysian relations?
We can always look forwards to more avenues of cooperation. I would certainly wish to see larger investment from India in Malaysia and the other way round as well. We should also look forward to more opening up of each other’s skies to ensure better connectivity.

I look forward to the continuance of favourable relations between India and Malaysia.

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