Business ties between India and Malaysia improve as political relationship makes headway

Written By: Sidhant Sibal WION
New Delhi Published: May 30, 2020, 12:44 PM(IST)

Palm oil Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

While Indian oil refineries are importing more crude palm oil, Malaysian import of rice and sugar from India has reached a record level.

As India Malaysia Political ties improved under the new Malaysian PM Muhyiddin Yassin, business ties between the two countries have also seen some breakthrough.

While Indian oil refineries are importing more crude palm oil, Malaysian import of rice and sugar from India has reached a record level. Due to the export levy imposed by Indonesians, Malaysian palm oil is comparatively cheaper. 

The high-level engagement has already started between New Delhi and the new Malaysian government. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar recently spoke to new Malaysian foreign minister Hishammuddin Hussein. 

Indian high commissioner to Malaysia Mridul Kumar has also met Malaysian foreign minister Hishammuddin twice. Indian high commissioner was the first envoy received by the Malaysian foreign minister on March 18, the day when he took charge. 

Ties between Delhi and Kuala Lumpur went downhill under the previous Malaysian government led by Mahathir bin Mohamad. Mahathir had taken a very anti-India stance on several issues, irking New Delhi.

However, ties have improved lately and both sides have been working together in COVID-19 pandemic fight. India had sent hydroxychloroquine to Malaysia and both sides have been supporting each other in repatriation efforts. 

India had allowed more than 18 Malaysian flights, which is one of the largest numbers of flights given go-ahead by India for any foreign country, to leave the country during the lockdown to enable Malaysian nationals to reach home. 

Meanwhile, India has repatriated a total of around 3200 Indians since mid-march including 1700 under Vande Bharat Mission. More are expected to be repatriated in the coming days.

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