Members of the Media,
Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister, for your warm sentiments and generous hospitality.
I deeply appreciate your gesture of hosting me in the midst of ASEAN and East Asia Summits.
I congratulate you on the outstanding summits, and for the establishment of the ASEAN Community. Your review of the EAS on its tenth anniversary set an excellent course for this region’s most important forum.
The two back-to-back airline tragedies could sap the morale of any nation. I commend your leadership and the resolve and resilience of the Malaysian people.
Mr. Prime Minister, let me say how deeply we value our relations with Malaysia. And, we are grateful for your stewardship that has kept our relationship on a steady course of progress.
There are many dimensions to our connected histories. We have very old links of culture and religion. The Malaysian-Indian community forms a very special and strong bond between us. I had the opportunity to speak to them last evening.
We are defined by diversity and democracy. We have built a vibrant economic partnership. We are located on the same maritime route.
We are closely aligned in our vision and approach to the region, and work closely in regional forums.
So, with a relationship as rich as this, I am pleased that we have agreed to make our Summits, ministerial dialogues and official meetings more regular.
I assure you that we will work with renewed vigour to raise the level to momentum of our partnership.
I am particularly grateful to you for our security cooperation. It underlines our shared commitment to deal with our security challenges. We will continue to deepen our cooperation in this area.
The recent spate of attacks in different countries, not to mention the ceaseless terrorist attempts against India and Afghanistan, are a reminder of the global nature of this threat.
Mr. Prime Minister, you have provided leadership in combating extremism and radicalization, rejecting any link between terrorism and religion, and in highlighting the real values of Islam.
This is a great contribution to an important aspect of our global efforts against this challenge.
We will also make our defence cooperation stronger, including for advancing maritime security and strengthening disaster response in our region.
I am pleased that we have agreed to upgrade our joint exercises and set up the SU-30 Forum.
We will do more in terms of level and complexity of exercises and collaboration in training and defence equipment.
Our agreement to cooperate in cyber security is very important. As our lives get more networked, this is emerging as one of the most serious concerns of our age.
I share Prime Minister’s belief that our trade and investment relations can be scaled up significantly. We intend to exploit the full potential of our bilateral agreements and the India-ASEAN Agreements.
We look forward to an early conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.
Malaysian competence in infrastructure is well known. Malaysia has completed several important projects, including in the road sector, in India.
I expressed our desire to see enhanced Malaysian participation in areas such as expansion and upgrading of infrastructure, Make in India, and Smart Cities projects.
Indian companies have a strong presence in Malaysia. IRCON is contributing to development of rail infrastructure here. We want to raise the level of Indian presence in the Malaysian economy.
Prime Minister and I are determined to explore steps to show concrete and early results. I am also meeting Malaysian CEOs later today.
I am happy that we are strengthening our excellent cooperation in Public Administration and Governance. I have personally interacted with PEMANDU, and am pleased that our Niti Ayog will work with them.
We will place special emphasis on cultural and people-to-people ties.
As you know, Prime Minister Najib and I will inaugurate the Torana Gate at the entrance of Little India in Bricksfield. This is a gift of India, but a labour of love for Prime Minister Najib. And, it will be a symbol of our timeless ties and the friendship between our people.
We invite Malaysian students to study in India and urge early conclusion of an agreement on Mutual Recognition of Degrees.
I am very pleased with our excellent and growing cooperation in Traditional Medicine, including Ayurveda and Siddha.
Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for a very productive discussion. I am confident that our strategic partnership will go to new level. I look forward to your visit to India soon.
Thank you very much.