Bilateral Relations Bilateral Relations

India established diplomatic relations with the Federation of Malaya (predecessor state of Malaysia) in 1957.
India and Malaysia have traditionally enjoyed friendly ties. There have been regular high level exchanges between the leaders of the two countries, including recently by Malaysia's Prime Minister Mohd. Najib to India in 19 to 23 January 2010 and the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to Malaysia from 26 to 28 October 2010. The two Prime Ministers decided to establish a bilateral Strategic Partnership in October 2010 which envisions development of a multi-faceted relationship from the long term and strategic perspective. The complete text Joint Statement issued on the occasion of the Indian Prime Minister's visit and other details are available on the High Commission of India's website. Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mohd. Najib visited India from 20-21 December, 2012 to attend the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in New Delhi. He was accompanied by Foreign Minister, Minister of International Trade & Industry and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department. 

External Affairs Minister of India, Shri S.M. Krishna, visited Malaysia from 2 to 5 May 2011 to co-chair the 5th Joint Commission meeting with his counterpart, Foreign Minister Dato Seri Anifah Aman. He also met the Malaysian Prime Minister and Home Minister during this visit. Further details on the External Affairs Minister's visit can be found on the website of the High Commission of India. Other high level Ministerial visits from India in 2010 – 2011 included those by the Deputy Chairman Planning Commission in September 2010, the Minister of Road Transport and Highways in December 2010, the Minister of Commerce and Industry in February 2011 to sign the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), the Minister of New and Renewable Energy in September 2011, the Minister of State for Textiles in November 2011, the Minister of State for Finance in July 2012 to launch India International Bank and GIC-Re office in Kuala Lumpur, the Minister of State for Road Transport & Highways in November, 2012 to flag-off the ASEAN-India Car Rally 2012 at Putrajaya and to deliver key-note address at ASEAN-India Connectivity Summit and the Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs in December 2012 and the Minister of Agriculture and Food Processing Industries in September 2013 to attend the 3rd ASEAN-India Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture & Forestry.

Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin bin Yassin paid an official visit to India from 8 to 13 March 2011, during which he met with the Prime Minister, the External Affairs Minister, the Minister of Road Transport and Highways and Minister of HRD. Other high level visitors from Malaysia in 2011 included the Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation visited India in February 2011, the Minister of Works in February 2011, Minister of Health in March 2011 and Minister for International Trade and Industry in March 2011, and the Minister of Finance II in October 2011, Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities in June 2012, Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment  in October 2012 to attend the 11th Conference of Parties (COP-11) to the Convention on Bio-diversity (CBD) in Hyderabad.,  Minister of Agriculture in October 2012 to attend the 2nd Meeting of the ASEAN-India Agricultural Ministers on co-operation in Agriculture and Forestry at New Delhi and ASEAN-India Agri Expo organized at the National Agriculture Science Centre(NASC) Complex, New Delhi, Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water in November 2012 to attend the Meeting of Ministers of Renewable Energy of India and ASEAN countries held at New Delhi, Deputy Foreign Minister in February 2013 to attend the Delhi Dialogue-V. 

The two sides also hold regular consultations between the two Foreign Ministries at the level of Secretary / Secretary General. Both countries have agreed in principle to establish a mechanism for cooperation on counter-terrorism. A bilateral Extradition Treaty was signed in January 2010 and a Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters was signed in March 2012.

Defence Cooperation: India-Malaysia defence relations have steadily grown over the years. A MOU on Defence Cooperation was signed in 1993. The Malaysian Defence Minister Dato Seri Mohd. Najib (now PM) had visited India in 2006 and Indian Defence Minister Shri A.K Anthony visited Malaysia in January 2008.Malaysia-Indian Defence Cooperation meetings at the level of Defence Secretary from Indian side and Secretary General from Malaysian side are held regularly; the tenth meeting of the MIDCOM was held in Jun 2013 at New Delhi in India; The Staff Talks between the three Services are being held regularly. Service Chiefs from both countries have regularly exchanged visits. From India, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne, PVSM, AVSM, VM, ADC made an official visit to Malaysia in February 2012; the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral DK Joshi, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, VSM, ADC visited Malaysia in Sep 2013. From Malaysia, the Chief of Army & Chief of Navy visited India in April 2012. An IAF Training Team was deployed in Malaysia from February 2008 to September 2010 to train Malaysian pilots on the Sukhoi-30MKM. India participates regularly in the biennial LIMA exhibition. Malaysia participates in the biennial MILAN event regularly. RMN participated in MILAN in February 2012 with one RMN Vessel and one Commander Naval Area; Indian Navy and Coast Guard vessels make regular friendly port calls each year at Malaysian ports. India is also participating in the Cooperative Mechanism on the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS) and contributed to two of the six IMO Projects (Project 1 and Project 4) for enhancement of navigational safety and environmental protection in the Straits. More details are available on this website under the head India and Malaysia.  

Economic and Commercial Cooperation: Economic and commercial relations are emerging as the mainstay of the bilateral relationship. Malaysia is the third largest trading partner for India within ASEAN, and India is the largest trading partner for Malaysia from among the countries of the South, excluding China. With the entry-into-force of the Malaysia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) as a single undertaking covering goods, services, investment and other areas of cooperation, on 1 July 2011, the bilateral economic engagement is expected to get a further fillip. Click Here to view CECA Agreement.
The two sides have ratified the Revised Double Taxation Agreement, which was signed in May 2012 and a MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Customs has been signed on 13.06.2013.

The first-ever India-Malaysia CEOs Forum, comprising 18 CEOs from both sides, was jointly launched on 27 October 2010 by Prime Ministers Dr. Manmohan Singh and Dato' Seri Mohd Najib to develop enhanced partnership and cooperation at the business level. The Second and Third meetings of the CEOs Forum took place in Mumbai and Kuala Lumpur on 20 May 2011 and 22 November 2011 respectively. The fourth meeting of the Forum was held in Johor Bahru on 08 June 2012. The fifth meeting of the Forum was held in New Delhi on 19 December, 2012.

Bilateral trade has increased from US$0.6 billion in 1992 to US$13.32 billion in 2012. The trade has more than doubled from US$5 billion to US$13.32 billion between 2005 and 2012. In 2012, bilateral trade has shown a growth of 7.3% year-on-year to reach US$13.3 billion (as compared to US$ 12.5 billion for the year 2011). Trade remains significantly imbalanced in favour of Malaysia (India's exports are US$ 3.83 billion, Malaysian exports are US$ 9.5 billion).  As per Indian statistics, the corresponding figures of bilateral trade in Jan-Dec 2012 were US $ 13.89 billion. India’s exports to Malaysia were worth US $ 3.78 billion and India’s imports from Malaysia were worth US $ 10.10 billion (Source: Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, India). The bilateral trade stood at US $ 11.29 billion for the period Jan.- Oct. 2013 registering an increase of 2.40% over the corresponding figure for Jan.- Oct. 2012, viz. US $ 11.02 billion.

Based on direct investments Malaysia is the 19th largest investor in India with cumulative FDI inflows valued at US$ 618.37 million from April 2000 to September  2013. In addition, more than US$ 6 billion in Malaysian investments are believed to be invested in India through the third country route. Notable among these are Maxis Communications in Aircel, Axiata in IDEA Cellular Ltd, Khazanah in IDFC, Apollo Hospitals, Yes Bank, etc. The largest presence of Malaysian construction companies outside Malaysia is in India. They have completed 72 construction projects worth US$ 3.27 billion in India, while 17 projects worth 2.376 billion are under various stages of implementation. Under a partnership with Malaysian Airports, GMR completed airport in Hyderabad in 2008, and the second one in Delhi in July 2010.

Indian companies have invested about US $ 2.05 billion (from 1980 to August 2013). Indian companies that made major acquisitions include Reliance Industries Limited, Ballarpur Industries Limited, Larsen & Toubro and WIPRO. There are over 100 Indian companies including 70 Indian joint ventures operating in Malaysia. In addition, there are more than 50 Indian IT companies operating from Malaysia. IRCON International Ltd. has been actively engaged in the development of railways in Malaysia since 1988, and it has successfully completed a double tracking project (Seremban – Gemas) worth over US $1billion on 31st  July 2013.Further details of bilateral economic cooperation are also available in the India and Malaysia section of the website. 

Tourism & Connectivity: Air links have improved significantly following a bilateral agreement in 2007 to progressively increase the seat capacity to six major destinations in India and a provision for multiple destinations and designating any number of airlines to operate on the India–Malaysia routes. At present, there are 114 flights between two countries, of which 93 are operated by Malaysian airlines and 21 by Indian airlines. Regular meeting of the Civil Aviation Ministries are held to liberalize the connectivity, and the last meeting was held in Kuala Lumpur in October 2011. India is the sixth largest source country for inbound tourism to Malaysia with about 691,271 Indian tourists visiting Malaysia in 2012. Malaysia is the tenth largest source country for foreign tourists visiting India with nearly 150,000 Malaysians visiting India in 2012. With the signing of the MoU for cooperation in the field of tourism, there would be greater people-to-people contact and also greater flow of tourists from both the countries.

Labour& Expatriates: There are about 150,000 Indian workers in Malaysia in both the skilled and semi-skilled category. This includes about 10,000 expatriates who are employed in IT, manufacturing, banking, etc. A bilateral MoU on Employment and Welfare of Workers signed in January 2009 establishes an institutional framework to deal with issues concerning Indian workers. Three Joint Working Group meetings at the Secretary-level have been held in March 2009, April 2010 and April 2012.
Education & Cultural Cooperation: About 2000 Indian students are studying in Malaysia, while an estimated 3000 Malaysian students are studying in India. An MOU on Higher Education was signed on 20 January 2010 during Prime Minister Dato' Seri Najib's visit to India. India offers about 30 slots under ITEC and 25 under the Colombo Plan. A new Indian Cultural Centre (ICC) has been opened in Kuala Lumpur on 10 February 2010 to promote cultural relations with Malaysia. A Cultural Exchange Programme (CEP) for 2010-13 was signed on 27 October 2010 during the visit of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to Malaysia.

People-to-People exchanges have also expanded with the signing of the Cultural Exchange Programme for 2010 – 2013; with the establishment of an Indian Cultural Centre in Kuala Lumpur in February 2011; with the establishment of a Joint ICT Talent Development Committee in February 2011; and with the holding of the 2nd bilateral Joint Committee for Science & Technology in July 2011. The Parliament of India has constituted an India-Malaysia Parliamentary Friendship Group headed by Shri Lalji Tandon MP as its President in October 2011. The 150th birth anniversary of Rabindarnath Tagore was also marked in May – June 2011 by several events in Malaysia.

Regional and Multilateral: India and Malaysia cooperate in a number of multilateral and regional foras such as UN, NAM, WTO, ASEAN, ARF, East Asia Summit (EAS), Commonwealth, Indian Ocean Rim for Regional Economic Cooperation, etc.

Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs): Malaysia has one of the largest communities of Persons of Indian Origin in the world, numbering close to 2 million (about 8% of Malaysia's population). The overwhelming numbers are Tamil speaking, with significant people speaking Telugu, Malayalam and Punjabi also. The Malaysian Indian Congress is the dominant political organization of the PIOs since pre-independence, and a member of the ruling coalition since independence, but of late several other political organizations have also emerged. Today there are good number of Members of Parliament and Ministers of the State Governments of Indian origin from both the ruling and opposition parties. Malaysia have been sending one of the largest contingents to the annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas events since its inception in 2001, and five Malaysians – Dato Seri S. Samy Vellu, Tan Sri Somasundaram, Tan Sri Vadiveloo, Tan Sri Ajit Singh and Tan Sri Datuk Ravindran Menon have been honoured with the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award.

India and Malaysia have had long-standing commercial links dating to the pre-Christian era. In modern times, Indian industry has been associated for three decades with the transformation of Malaysia from an exporter of primary products into an industrialized and broad-based economy. The first Indian joint venture, Godrej commenced operations in 1968, and in the seventies and early eighties Malaysia hosted the largest number of Indian joint ventures in any country. Indian companies present involvement in Malaysia is in palm oil refining, power, railways, information technology, bio-technology, manufacturing industrial goods, higher education, civil construction, and training.

In the decade since 2000 growing India-Malaysia ties across the board have triggered new dimensions in bilateral commercial and economic relations.  

Legal & Institutional Framework

India and Malaysia signed a landmark Free Trade Agreement in Kuala Lumpur in February 2011 called the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA). The CECA is a single undertaking covering goods, services, investment and other areas of cooperation. The new framework provides significant new opportunities for economic collaboration and is expected to lead to stronger commercial and economic ties at the governmental as well as business-to-business levels. The CECA has entered into force from 1 July 2011Click Here to view CECA agreement.

In Trade in Goods, key items on which Malaysia has offered market access to India are basmati rice, mangoes, eggs, trucks, motorcycles and cotton garments which are all items of considerable export interest to India. Key items of Malaysia’s interest on which we have offered market access are fruits, cocoa, palm oil products and synthetic textiles. For refined palm oil (RPO) exports by Malaysia into India, as compared to the concessions under the India-ASEAN Trade in Goods (TiG) Agreement, only advancement of timeline from 2019 to 2018 is offered by India, retaining the end-tariff rate of 45%.

In Trade in Services both sides have exchanged WTO ‘plus’ offers and Malaysia’s offer to India is significantly superior to Malaysia’s revised offers in the WTO both in terms of sectoral coverage as well as depth within each sector/sub-sector.  Malaysia has offered commitments in the categories of Contractual Service Suppliers (CSS) and Independent Professionals (IP) in commercially meaningful sectors including accounting and auditing, architecture, urban planning, engineering services, medical and dental, nursing and pharmacy, Computer and Related Services (CRS), Management Consulting Services, etc.  Malaysia has also removed all requirements relating to economic needs tests/labour market tests for our professionals entering Malaysia.  Malaysia has offered substantive commitments in the area of cross borders supply of services, almost without any restrictions, across the board, which is of immense importance for our Information Technology (IT) and Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) industry.  Malaysia has also offered comparatively higher levels of FDI in sectors of interest to India like computer and related services, management consulting services, construction services etc.

CECA aims to promote investment and create a liberal, facilitative, transparent and competitive investment regime. The Chapter on Investment serves to strengthen cooperation in investment, improve transparency of investment rules and regulations and provide for protection of investments. It incorporates provisions designed to offer relative standards of treatment i.e. National Treatment, protection against Expropriation or Nationalization, provisions for Minimum Standard of Treatment, provisions for transfer of profit and investments, Subrogation, Reservations, and recourses to dispute settlement (investor-to-state). IMCECA purports to protect, promote and remove barriers to foreign investment flows in order to stimulate new investment flows between India and Malaysia.

The legal framework governing bilateral trade and economic cooperation also includes, inter alia, a bilateral Investment Protection Agreement signed in 1997; a Revised Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement signed in May 2012; and a MoU on Cooperation in Customs Matters in June 2013. The two Governments are working to revise the Air Services Agreement between India and Malaysia signed in May 1974 which is expected to review the respective traffic entitlements. The India International Bank Malaysia (IIBM), a joint venture of Bank of Baroda, Indian Overseas Bank and Andhra bank, was launched on July 11, 2012.

Institutional arrangements between India and Malaysia for trade and economic cooperation include an India-Malaysia Joint Commission, chaired by the respective Foreign Ministers, which was established in 1992. The Joint Commission has held only five meetings (1992, 2000, 2002, 2007 and May 2011).

India-Malaysia CEO Forum

During Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh's visit to Malaysia from 26 to 28 October 2010, both countries established a India-Malaysia CEOs Forum comprising 18 CEOs from both sides, which was jointly launched on 27 October 2010 by the Prime Ministers of India and Malaysia to develop enhanced partnership and cooperation at the business level. The Forum held its second meeting in Mumbai on 20 May 2011. The third meeting of the Forum was held in Kuala Lumpur on 22 November 2011.The fourth meeting of the Forum was held in Johor Bahru on 08 June 2012. The fifth meeting was held in New Delhi on December 19, 2012.

Private sector agreements signed during the Prime Minister’s visit are as follows:


Biocon announced investment worth RM 500 million (US $ 161 million) to set up its first overseas manufacturing and research facility in Malaysia in partnership with Biotech Corporation of Malaysia. The USFDA-compliant plant would be operational by 2014 and make high-end biosimilars and biopharmaceuticals for the global market. It is one of the biggest biotechnology investments in Malaysia.


Manipal Group of India announced an investment of US $ 180 million in Malaysia to set up a multi-disciplinary university. The Minister for Higher Education Dato’ Seri Khalid Nordin handed over the license to the Manipal Group during the Prime Minister’s visit.


Quantum Sigma Sdn Bhd and ES Electronics (India) Pvt Ltd has signed an agreement to establish a manufacturing facility to produce solar panel and energy saving plugs by Quantum Sigma in Bentong, Pahang. The investments by Indian company are on technology transfer and expertise. The proposed project entails an investment of over. RM18 million


Realty major Embassy Property Developments has entered into a joint venture with MK Land Holding, a Malaysian company that specialises in pre-fabricated affordable housing, to build projects in the affordable housing segment. The proposed project entails an investment of over RM2 Billion.


Malaysia Airline System (MAS) and Tata Consultancy Services Sdn Bhd (TCS) have signed an agreement to establish a general framework for cooperation in the fields of technology and Business Advisory Services.


Scomi Marine Berhad & Intan Asia Sdn Bhd have signed an agreement with Indian Maritime University to set up a Maritime University Campus in Malaysia.


Budayatama Corporation Sdn. Bhd has entered into agreement with PEN Food Pvt Limited to advise and offer technical knowhow in the business of producing high quality blends of bio-compost fertilizers to Budayatama Corporation Sdn. Bhd. It also undertakes to do transfer of technology to Budayatama Corporation Sdn. Bhd. plant to be set up in Malaysia. The cost of the project is valued at RM30 million (US$ 10 million).


TH-NSTC Sdn. Bhd. and Davanam Constructions Pvt. Ltd has entered into an agreement to develop ultra low density, world class luxury residential development with Club House managed by General Hotels Management in Barndar Enstek on approximately 200 acres area and the cost of project is RM 1.5 billion.


Universiti Tenaga Nasional Sdn. Bhd and TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute) has signed an agreement for cooperation in Areas of Education, Research, Capacity Development, and Consultancy.


IEM Training Center Sdn. Bhd (IEMTC) and Engineering Staff College of India have signed an agreement to collaborate in the field of continuing professional development of engineers of the respective countries. 

Bilateral Trade

Bilateral trade between India and Malaysia increased by 7.3% to RM 41.15 billion (USD 13.32 billion) in 2012 as compared with RM38.35 billion (USD 12.53 billion) in 2011. Malaysia's exports to India were worth RM 29.33 billion (USD 9.50 billion) and imports from India were valued at RM 11.82 billion (USD 3.82 billion) in 2012. Malaysia’s import from India is an increase of 15.9% corresponding to the same period of last year. India is the 8th largest trade partner globally. The trade is significantly imbalanced in Malaysia's favour. The trade deficit had marginally improved a little (5.7 billion in 2012 as compared to 5.9 billion in 2011). The bilateral trade for the period of Jan-Oct 2013 have shown an increase of 2.4% to RM 35,896 million (USD 11,288 million) corresponding to same period of last year. Malaysia's exports to India were worth RM 21,447 million (USD 6,744 million) and imports from India were valued at RM 14,449 million (USD 4,544 million).  Malaysia’s imports from India show a significant increase of 38.59% and exports to India have reduced by 12.92% as compared to figures during corresponding period of last year.

As per Indian statistics, the corresponding figures of bilateral trade in Jan-Dec 2012 were US $ 13.89 billion. India’s exports to Malaysia were worth US $ 3.78 billion and India’s imports from Malaysia were worth US $ 10.10 billion. The bilateral trade in Jan-Sept 2013 was US$ 10,980.24 million. India’s exports to Malaysia were US$ 3,945.36 and imports from Malaysia were US$ 7034.88 (Source: Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, India). The bilateral trade stood at US $ 11.288 billion for the period Jan.- Oct. 2013 registering an increase of 2.4% over the corresponding figure for Jan.- Oct. 2012, viz. US $ 11.023 billion.
Since the launch of the Look East Policy by India in early 1990s, bilateral trade increased by 16 times from US $ 0.6 billion in 1992 to US $ 13.32 billion in 2012. Bilateral trade data since 1998 up to Sept. 2013 is shown below.


India’s Exports 
(US$ mn)

Growth rate (%)

India’s Imports
(US$ mn)

Growth rate (%)

Balance of Trade
(US$ mn)

Total Trade (US$ mn)

Growth rate (%)

























































































































Jan-Oct. 2013








(Source: Department of Statistics, Malaysia)

(I) Malaysian Investment in India
(a) Investment

Malaysia is currently 19th largest investor in India with FDI inflows from April 2000 to September 2013 standing at US $ 618.37 million, as per the statistics of the DIPP. If investments made through the third country route are also included, cumulative Malaysian investments in India till date stand in excess of US$ 6 billion. Malaysia is emerging as a major potential investor in India, with investments in the pipeline in power, oil refineries, telecommunication and electrical equipment industries, besides highway and other infrastructure development projects. 
Malaysian Foreign Direct Investment in India is primarily focused on roads and highways, telecommunications, oil & gas, power plants, tourism and human resources.  The highest investment proposals have been in the telecommunications, followed by Fuels (power and oil refinery) sector and Roads and Highways. 
In the period 2007 – 2012, there has been a surge in Malaysian private sector initiatives in the flow of project-related investments into India. Notable among these are the investments, include:

  • Malaysia’s national oil & gas company PETRONAS’ stake in Cairn India (Indian arm of UK based oil & gas major Cairn Energy Plc) went up to 14.94% after its recent acquisition of 2.3% share for US $ 240 million (April, 2011)
  • Astro All Asia Networks Plc has increased its stake in India-based South Asia FM Ltd. (SAFL) from 6.98% to 20% for RM 60.55 million, with an eye on radio-advertising growth in future. (June 2009)
  • Ranhill Bhd’s USD 900 million contract for construction and commission of a 2x350 MW thermal power plant in Chhattisgarh; (2007)
  • Mudajaya Group Berhad’s USD 150 million E&P power project related contract in Chhattisgarh; (2006)
  • Asian Gateways Construction Sdn Bhd’s USD 1.4 billion mega thermal power project (1600 MW) in Andhra Pradesh, Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for which was signed with PTC India Ltd. in July 2007;
  • 9.95% stake acquired by Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the investment arm of the Malaysian Government, in Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IDFC) valued at approximately Rs. 8.2 billion (USD 180 million) over a six-month period between September 2006 and March 2007 making them the second largest share holder in IDFC after the Government of India, which holds a 23% stake; (2007)
  • Sunway Group, Malaysia and Hyderabad based Opus Developers & Builders are developing a 35-acre township, SunCity in Andhra Pradesh, with around 3,400 units of high quality condominiums & their another JV with MAK Projects Private Ltd to develop an RM 380 million (USD 113.43) condominium project in Hyderabad; (2008)
  • UMW Holdings Bhd’s acquiring 14.9% stake in BSE-listed Oil Country Tubular Ltd (OCTL) for RM 41.96 million (USD 12.16 million) through its Indian arm UMW India Ltd.; (2007)
  • IJM Corp. Bhd and IDFC’s joint venture to develop a southern road project - Chilakaluripet-Vijayawada Section of National Highway 5 in Andhra Pradesh, at a cost of Rs. 6.75 billion; (2008)
  • India’s largest mobile phone service provider Bharti Airtel Ltd. and Malaysia’s Global Transit Limited are part of a six member consortium to build a high bandwidth undersea fibre-optic cable linking Asia and the USA at a total estimated cost of US$ 300 million.
  • UMW Corporation Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of UMW Holdings Bhd has entered into two separate share sale agreements in 2008 for acquiring a 51% stake in MK Autocomponents Ltd for USD 22.52 million and 50% in MK Automotive Industries Ltd for USD 1 million approximately. (2008)
  • Malaysian construction firm, UEM Builders Bhd, have set up an equally owned joint venture company in partnership with India’s Ansal Group, called UEM Builders-Ansal API Contracts Pvt. Ltd., with the objective of working jointly on several upcoming construction projects in India, particularly those related to real estates and township development. (2007)
  • IJM Steel Products Private Ltd, an Indian subsidiary of IJM Group has commissioned an RM 16 million (US $ 4.9 million) welded wire mesh(WWM) manufacturing facility at Isnapur, near Hyderabad. (2008)
  • Sime Darby Plantation Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary (WOS) of the Sime Darby Berhad, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the State Trading Corporation (STC) of India on 26 August 2008 to cooperate in the field of edible oils. Under the agreement, both sides are currently exploring the possibility of setting up an edible oil refining facility and market the end products in India through the joint venture route. (2008)
  • Tune Hotels Regional Services Sdn Bhd, a Malaysian company with Tune Venture and Tony Fernandes holding 30% and 14% stake, entered into a strategic partnership with Apodis Hospitality Corporation of India to invest in, develop and operate 20 Tune Hotels across India by 2012. It has plans to develop 70 hotels in India by 2016. (2009)

(b) Malaysian Projects in India

According to the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB) of Malaysia, Malaysian companies have so far completed 72 construction projects worth US$ 3.27 billion in India, while 17 projects valued at US$ 2.376 billion are currently under various stages of implementation.
Some of the notable ongoing projects in construction as well as other industry sectors include:

  • Scomi Engineering Bhd is part of a consortium led by India’s Larsen & Toubro Ltd that has been awarded the RM 2 billion monorail project in Mumbai.
  • Marrybrown proposes to add 12 more outlets to the existing 30 restaurants in southern part of India.
  • Ranhill Utilities Bhd (RUB) is partnering with India’s Jusco Group and Infrastructure Development Finance Co (IDFC) to lease and build water treatment plants in West Bengal.
  • IJM Corp. Bhd, through its special purpose vehicle Vijayawada Tollway Pvt Ltd, has embarked on a major highway project worth nearly RM 500 million (USD 156.7 million) in Andhra Pradesh.
  • Malaysian Aiports Holdings Bhd has a 10% stake in Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Hyderabad.

II) Indian Investment in Malaysia

As per Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), cumulative Indian investment into Malaysia from 1980 – Aug. 2013 stands USD 2051.29 million (2.05 billion) which include investments of USD 2.91 million during 2013. As per Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), during 2012, a total of 10 projects have been approved & implemented with Indian participation in production of Food Manufacturing, Textiles & Textile Products, Wood & Wood Products, Furniture & Fixtures, Chemical & Chemical Products, Petroleum Products (Inc. Petrochemicals), Fabricated Metal Products and Scientific & Measuring Equipment amounting to US$259.85 million as compared to a total 5 projects amounting to US$78.09 million in 2011. At present, there are more than 77 Indian companies including 70 Indian joint ventures operating in Malaysia. Indian companies have started making sizeable investments in Malaysia. Recron Malaysia Sdn Bhd (owned by the Reliance group) is the largest Indian company in Malaysia, which is one of the largest synthetic and textile integrated plants in the world. Ballarpur Industries Limited of the Avantha Group-owned Sabah Forest Industries, and Larsen & Toubro Group’s Tamco Switchgear are other major Indian companies in Malaysia. Mahindra Satyam has moved to new premises, located at a 15-acre site in Cyberjaya, offered by the Malaysian Government for its Global Solution Centre (GSC) operations. India’s Reliance Capital Ltd. set up a Malaysian unit to serve as a global hub for syariah-compliant financial products. Veeda Clinical Research Organization, Ahmedabad proposed to set up its advanced research unit at Ampang Hospital in Kuala Lumpur. The company entered into a quasi-commercial agreement with Malaysia’s Health Ministry. Indian public sector undertakings particularly IRCON, HMT, EIL, BHEL, and IOC have been engaged with the Malaysian industrial sector since the 1970s.
Some of the recent investments/JVs as well as Malaysian projects awarded to Indian companies include:

  • Biocon announced investment worth RM 500 million (US $ 161 million) to set up its first overseas manufacturing and research facility in Malaysia in partnership with Biotech Corporation of Malaysia. The USFDA-compliant plant would be operational by 2014 and make high-end biosimilars and biopharmaceuticals for the global market. It is one of the biggest biotechnology investments in Malaysia.
  • Manipal Group of India will be investing US $ 180 million in Malaysia to set up a multi-disciplinary university. The Minister for Higher Education Dato’ Seri Khalid Nordin handed over the license to the Manipal Group during the visit of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to Malaysia on 27 October 2010.
  • Manipal International University (MIU) is a Malaysian university currently offering MQA-approved programmes in engineering, life sciences & business as part of Manipal Group. Manipal International University (MIU) is open for enrolment in September 2012. Manipal Education’s has invested RM650mil over five years to establish the Manipal International University (MIU). MUI, Nilai Campus would move to a world class education mini city in 2013.
  • Veeda Clinical Research Organisation, Ahmedabad proposes to set up its advanced research unit at Ampang Hospital in Kuala Lumpur. The company has entered into a quasi-commercial agreement with Malaysia’s Health Ministry.
  • Hextar Chemicals Sdn Bhd, Kuala Lumpur and Unitop Chemicals Pvt. Ltd, Mumbai entered into a joint venture in January 2008 to make specialty chemicals for the agriculture, oil and gas, textile and personal care products industries. The Plant, known as Hextar Unitop Chemicals Sdn Bhd, will be built in two years’ time at a cost of RM 10 million (USD 2.99 million).
  • Mahindra Satyam, a software service company from India, proposes to expand its operations in Malaysia.
  • Wipro has expanded its Malaysian operations by launching a Global Service Management Centre (GSMC) in Cyberjaya.
  • Hyderabad-based Vivo Bio Tech Ltd is to invest RM 450 million (USD 140.6 million) in the setting up of an integrated biotechnology facility in Malacca to commercialize bio-therapeutics in Malaysia.
  • Malladi Group is in the process of investing US $300 million by 2012-13 to create a global one-stop shop encompassing entire value chain in contract manufacturing facility in bio-technology in Malaysia;
  • Malaysia’s MNC Wireless Berhad and India’s Cellebrum.Com Ltd, a subsidiary of Spice Corp Ltd, established a strategic partnership that entails marketing Cellebrum.Com’s mobile platforms, distribution rights, marketing in collaborative areas and co-development in the areas of research & development.
  • Hyderabad-based Goldstone Technologies Ltd. Launched its Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) service in Malaysia to take advantage of the growing audience market. Partnering with MOL Access Portal Bhd., Goldstone’s focus will be on South Indian content, particularly movies.
  • Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group’s Adlabs Films Ltd has expanded into Malaysia with the acquisition of a majority stake in the Lotus Five Star Cinemas. With the Adlabs acquisition, Lotus has emerged as the third largest chain in Malaysia, operating 51 cinema halls spread all over Malaysia.
  • India’s Punj Lloyd Ltd is part of a consortium awarded the job of building a 512 km natural gas pipeline from the proposed Sabah Oil and Gas Terminal in Kimanis to Petronas’ liquefied natural gas complex in Bintulu (East Malaysia).
  • Aban Offshore Ltd, Mumbai has been awarded two contracts worth USD 55 million in all to drill nine oil wells in Malaysia.
  • The Embassy Group of India in partnership with the Emkay Group of Companies of Malaysia have officially opened the Block A of their MKN Embassy TechZone project worth RM 350 million (USD 109.7 million) in Malaysia.
  • Scomi Marine, an associate of Scomi Group Bhd of Malaysia has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to form a framework of cooperation for the provision of maritime academic programmes in Malaysia is still under progress. The MoU was signed with Indian Maritime University (IMU), Intan Asia Sdn Bhd and Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ). IMU is a central university established by the Ministry of Shipping, Government of India with headquarters in Chennai.
  • TH Properties Sdn Bhd and Davanam Constructions Pvt Ltd has entered into an agreement to build approximately 200 acres luxury residential project at Bandar Enstek, Nilai is scheduled to commence in first quarter 2011 with completion targeted for 2016.
  • Malaysia-based Tamco Switchgear, a wholly owned subsidiary of Larsen & Toubro Limited and part of the Electrical & Automation (E&A) business, have taken over Henikwon Corporation Sdn Bhd. Based in Malaysia, Henikwon Corporation is a leading manufacturer of Low Voltage (LV) and Medium Voltage (MV) busduct systems. Henikwon brand is globally well recognized and offers high quality products under compliance to international quality standards.
  • Reliance bought over BP’s interest in BP Chemicals (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (BPCM) located at Kuantan on the east coast of Malaysia for $230 million in cash, both parties anticipate completing the transaction in 2012. BPCM plant is manufacturing of 610,000 tonnes of purified terephthalic acid (tpa) per year.

Indian public sector undertakings have an impressive track record in Malaysia, with HMT, EIL, BHEL, IRCON and IOC having been actively engaged with the Malaysian industrial sector since the 1970s. A few highlights are as follows:

  • IRCON International Ltd. (a company under the Ministry of Railways, GOI) has been actively engaged in the development of railways in Malaysia since 1988. It has successfully undertaken track rehabilitation, track and bridge work, refurbishment of KTMB’s 22 class locomotives. It has successfully completed and commissioned 11 major railway projects valued about RM 694.7 millions. IRCON has successfully completed 31.5 km. rail link costing US$ 121 millions between Senai Station and the Port at Pelabuhan Tanjung Pelapas (PTP) in January, 2002. IRCON is supplying locomotives on hire and maintenance basis to KTM Berhad (Malaysian Railway) since July 1993. Consortiums led by IRCON and China Railway Engineering Corporation had, apparently, submitted their respective proposals to the Malaysian government for the construction of the northern and southern portions of the multi-billion dollar project being undertaken by KTM Berhad. IRCON has successfully completed the Seremban – Gemas Railway Double Tracking Project worth over US $ 1 billion on 31st July 2013.

December 2013

The Indian Culture Centre in Kuala Lumpur was inaugurated in February 2010.Right from its inception, a host of programmes featuring dance, music, exhibitions and lectures have been organized at the Centre to draw in Malaysian and Indian origin audiences. The events include lectures by eminent people, exhibitions of photos and paintings, performances of cultural troupes sponsored by ICCR, workshops on Indian music, dance and lecture-cum-demonstrations by Indian artists, and various other events. The Centre has three fulltime teachers for Yoga, Kathak dance and Carnatic classical music. The Centre also has part-time teachers for Hindi language and Tabla. Regular classes are held at the Centre and the number of students attending these classes has rapidly grown up over last three years.

A grouping called the Friends of Indian Culture Centre (FICC) has also been created to advise and assist the Indian Culture Centre in expanding its outreach.

To help further strengthening cultural cooperation between India and Malaysia, a bilateral Cultural Exchange Programme for 2010-13 was signed on 27th October 2010 during the visit of the Hon'ble Prime Minister to Malaysia.

For further information please see Indian Cultural Centre, Kuala Lumpur 

Historically India-Malaysia defence relations date back to the colonial days when the troops of Madras Native Infantry were called upon to serve in Singapore, Malacca and Penang in the beginning of Nineteenth century. During the Second World War, units of British Indian Army fought the Japanese for the defence of Malaya and Singapore. Before Independence, some officers from Federated Malay States were trained in the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Dehradun. One of them, Tun Hussein Onn, subsequently joined politics and rose to become the third Prime Minister of the country (1976-1981) while another, Tun Ibrahim Ismail advanced up the Military Hierarchy, to become the Chief of Defence Forces (1971-77).         

Malaysian Armed Forces officers and men were initially trained in India but as Malaysia established its own training establishments, training in India has become more selective, and now focuses only on specialized courses. Malaysian officers regularly attend the Defence Services Staff College (DSSC) Course, the National Defence College (NDC) Course and several other specialized courses in India. Indian officers regularly attend the Malaysian Command and Staff Course as well as other specialized courses. Two grandsons of Sultan Iskandar Haj, Late King of Johor have passed out from Indian Military Academy in Dehradun. One of them, Prince Tunku Ismail Ibrahim, did his attachment with 61 Cavalry in 2007 and also led the Regimental contingent at the Republic Day Parade on 26 January 2007.

India-Malaysia defence relations have steadily grown over the years from military training to include supply of defence equipment and enhanced security dialogues. The MOU on Defence Cooperation between the two countries, signed in 1993 is the basic foundation stone of the present day defence relationship which caters for widening the scope of existing bilateral cooperation to include joint ventures, joint development projects, procurement, logistic and maintenance support and training. Malaysia-India Defence Cooperation Committee (MIDCOM) meetings jointly chaired by the two Defence Secretaries, meets regularly to review the progress in defence cooperation on an annual basis. The last MIDCOM meeting was held at New Delhi in Jun 2013. Staff talks between the three services have been operationalized and are held regularly on annual basis. The 3rd Army to Army Staff talks were held at Kuala Lumpur in December 2012; the 5th Air to Air Staff Talks at New Delhi in December 2012; and the 5th Navy to Navy Talks were held at New Delhi in Jun 2013.

In the last few years itself, numerous high level visits have been exchanged between the two countries. Hon'ble Raksha Mantri of India, Shri A K Antony, undertook a very successful visit of Malaysia in January 2008. His discussions with the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Malaysia were held in an atmosphere of bonhomie and covered substantial issues on all facets of bilateral relationship. The two Defence Ministers, in their joint statement, agreed to further expand the scope of Defence Cooperation. The Raksha Mantri's visit was closely followed by the official visits of the Indian Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee, Chief of Army Staff and Chief of Air Staff to Malaysia and from Malaysia, the Chief of Air Staff and Chief of Defence Forces to India. More recent visits include the Indian Chief of Air Staff’s visit to Malaysia in February 2012, the Malaysian Chief of Army & Chief of Navy visit to India in April 2012 and the Indian Chief of Naval Staff’s visit to Malaysia in Sep 2013.

In 2008, India accepted Malaysia's request to train the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) personnel on the operation and maintenance of the state of art Su-30 MKM aircraft. The initial training for the RMAF personnel was conducted in India by Hindustan Aeronautical Limited (HAL) and Indian Air Force. Subsequently, a composite team of flying and technical training instructors was deployed at Gong Kedah Base as part of Indian Air Force Training Team (IAFTT) for two and a half years to impart the training. The training successfully concluded in Sep 2010. The IAFTT team personnel were felicitated in a special ceremony prior to their departure by General Dato Sri Rodzali bin Daud, Chief of Royal Malaysian Air Force.

Indian Navy has been a regular participant at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) in Malaysia and Indian Naval Ships and Indian Coast Guard Ships frequently make port calls at Malaysian Ports. In 2011, Indian Coast Guard Ships ICGS Sankalp, ICGS Veera and Indian Naval Ships INS Ranvijay, INS Airavat, INS Tir & INS Krishana made port call at Malaysia. INS Kora and INS Baratang participated in LIMA 2011 at Langkawi. In 2012, INS Ranjit, INSV Mhadei, INS Rana, INS Shivalik, INS Shakti, INS Karmuk, INS Sujata and Indian Coast Guard Ship ICGS Varuna made Port call at Malaysia. In 2013; IN Training Ship STS Sudarshini in Feb; ICGS Durga Bai Deshmukh & ICGS Samudra Peheredar in Feb; group of four Indian Naval Ships from the Eastern Fleet (INS Shakti, INS Satpura, INS Ranvijay and INS Kirch) made a port call at Port Kelang as part of the OSD-2013 in Jun.  The Malaysian Navy Ship RMN KD Perak participated in MILAN 2010 and RMN Ship KD Selangor participated in MILAN 2012. The newly acquired Scorpene Class Submarine KD Tun Razak on her maiden voyage from Spain to Malaysia made port call at Kochi, India in June 2010. 

Cooperation between Indian Army and Malaysian Army has also been growing steadily.  There is regular exchange of courses at functional and higher levels, including training on UN Peace Keeping Operations.  The inaugural bilateral Army Exercise HARIMAU SHAKTI (a command post exercise) was held at Kuala Lumpur in October 2012. The next Exercise is scheduled to be held in India in 2014.

India also regularly sends its National Defence College Course, Higher Command Course, Higher Defence Management Course and Higher Air / Naval Command courses on visits to Malaysia. The Higher Defence Management Course delegation visited Malaysia in October 2010, October 2011, November 2012, the Higher Command Course delegation visited Malaysia in November 2011 and the Naval Higher Command Course visited Malaysia in February 2012. Indian Defence Production companies and the Indian Armed Forces personnel and assets have also been regularly participating in the Malaysian Defence Exhibitions (DSA) and Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA). High level delegations from India participated in DSA-10 held in April 2010 and DSA -12 held in April 2012 at Kuala Lumpur. AOC-in-C, South Western Air Command led the Indian Delegation to LIMA - 11 at Langkawi in December 2011. Malaysia also regularly sends high level delegations to the DEF EXPOs and Aerospace Expositions shows in India. The Deputy Chief of RMAF led the Malaysian delegation to Aero India 11 held at Bangalore in February 2011 and the Chief of Army and Chief of Navy, Malaysia led the Malaysian delegation to DEFEXPO -12 at New Delhi in March 2012. 


Archives - 2012

Archives - 2011

Archives - 2010

Education is an integral part of India-Malaysia’s multi-faceted relationship. A large number of Malaysians pursue their studies in India. During 1960s and 1970s, an estimated 30,000 Malaysian students studied in Indian educational institutions. An estimated 3000 Malaysian students are currently studying in India, while about 1500 Indian students are studying in Malaysia. Over 30% of doctors in Malaysia today have been studied in India. The Manipal University alone has over 3000 alumni in Malaysia. There are indications of increasing number of Malaysian students going to India for higher and technical/professional education. Malaysians account for 10% of the total number of foreign students studying in India, and there is much scope for growth in this area.

A Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation in the field of Higher Education was signed on 20 January 2010 during Prime Minister Dato' Seri Najib’s visit to India.

During the visit of Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh to Malaysia in October 2010, the Ministry of Higher Education of Malaysia accorded permission to the Manipal Group to set up a full-fledged university campus in Malaysia. In this regard, the Manipal Group announced an investment of US $180 million in Malaysia.

The establishment of branch campuses of Indian institutions of higher learning is gathering momentum with a view to make Malaysia as a hub for education among ASEAN countries. Under a twinning programme, Melaka-Manipal Medical College was set up in 2001 with the Manipal Academy of Higher Education as the Indian partner. Replicating the experience, Vinayaka Missions University from Salem in Tamil Nadu, established twinning arrangements with Penang International Dental College (PIDC) in 2005. The Vinayaka Missions University has recently announced further investments in establishing educational institutions in Johor Bahru.

Many other Malaysian educational institutions have also entered into twinning arrangements with Indian educational institutions e.g. University Science Malaysia (USM), Penang, has a twinning arrangement with the KLE University, Belgaum, for the MBBS degree course; and the Management Science University (MSU), Shah Alam, has a twinning arrangement with the M.S. Ramaiah Medical College, Bangalore, whereby they have set up a special International Medical School (IMS) in Bangalore specifically for their MBBS twinning course. Many other Malaysian institutions are also sending their students for short-term clinical practice training to India.

Scholarship Programme offered by the High Commission of India, Kuala Lumpur

The High Commission of India, Kuala Lumpur, administers the Indian Scholarship & Trust Fund (ISTF), from which a one-time financial assistance is provided to deserving meritorious Malaysian Indian students to cover a part of their educational expenses in Malaysia. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, during his visit to Malaysia in 2015 announced additional funding of Rs.5 crores for the ISTF so as to cater to the needs of more Malaysian Indian students. Due to the availability of the larger funding, more number of students were provided with a higher amount of financial assistance under the ISTF from the year 2016-17 onwards. The following table summarises the number of students selected, and the total amount of financial assistance disbursed, during the last five years:







No. of students selected






Total amount disbursed (RM)






Scholarship Programmes offered by the Government of India

Through the Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children (SPDC), the Government of India has recently instituted a new scholarship programme for children of Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) and Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) to study in Higher and Technical Institutions in India. A total of 100 admission-cum-scholarships are offered annually to students from 40 countries, including Malaysia. The objective of SPDC is to make available India’s highly developed higher education system to the children of the Indian Diaspora (PIOs and NRIs) living in the 40 select countries. The amount of scholarship is 75% of the Institutional Economic Cost (IEC) up to a maximum ceiling limit of US$3,600/ per year.

A limited number of seats are also offered to Malaysian students in medical, dentistry, and engineering disciplines under the ‘Nomination under Self-financing Foreign Students (SFS)’ scheme. Since its inception, a number of Malaysian Indian students have been selected under this scheme to pursue medical, dentistry, and engineering degrees in various Government colleges in India.

In addition, the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) based in New Delhi offers scholarships for Malaysian students to study Indian dance, music, painting and sculpture, and also to pursue higher education (both Bachelors & Masters) in various fields, except medical related courses. ICCR offers 4 different kinds of scholarships for Malaysia: 1) ICCR scholarship for dance and music; 2) General Cultural Scholarship Scheme (GCSS) for UG and PG courses; 3) IOR-ARC scholarship for postgraduate studies; and 4) AYUSH Scholarship Scheme for undergraduate courses in traditional systems of Indian medicine.

Under Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Programme (ITEC), training in India is provided for Malaysian candidates in various fields such as banking, Information Communication and Technology (ICT), audit and accounts, hydrology, management, journalism, etc. The ITEC programme was started in 1964 and 47 institutions in India are empanelled under the ITEC programme, offering more than 270 training courses to 161 partner countries including Malaysia.

Under the TCS of the Colombo Plan, India sponsors training courses to Malaysia, especially for those working in the government related sectors. The TCS of Colombo Plan was started in 1950 and has over 40 empanelled institutions in India, offering over 200 training courses to the member countries of the Colombo Plan, including Malaysia.

Details of these scholarship schemes are available on this website under the 'Education Wing / Scholarships Schemes' on the Home page.

Know India Programme (KIP)

The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA), Government of India, is providing the Know India Programme (KIP) through which youngsters of Indian origin can get to know their cultural roots in India, and would be taken on a guided tour of the partner states conducting the KIP. Each KIP consists of 40 participants from around the world, and every year about 3 KIPs are conducted by the MOIA.'