Modi says developed nation status within sight under Najib's leadership

KUALA LUMPUR: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his Malaysian counterpart Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak has steered Malaysia well on to the path of attaining its aspiration to become a developed nation.

He noted that Malaysia, under Najib's stewardship, had shown resilience in coping with the global economic challenges.

"Under the leadership of Prime Minister Najib, Malaysia is moving towards its goal of achieving developed nation status by 2020," he said when addressing the Asian Business Leaders Conclave via video conferencing today.

Modi said the fact that Malaysia was hosting the event was testament to the importance of this Southeast Asian nation of over 30 million people as a preferred commercial and business destination.

Najib attended the conclave at a leading here today.

Modi also hailed long-standing ties between New Delhi and Kuala Lumpur that had been beneficial for both sides.

"The close relations with Malaysia are integral to the success of our Act East Policy," he said, alluding to the move of making India's relations with its East Asian neighbours a foreign policy priority.

The Indian leader also spoke about the Torana Gate in "Little India", Brickfields here as a symbol of friendship between the two countries.

Modi told the gathering that the "timeless ties" between both countries were also reinforced by the presence of a large Malaysian Indian community.

The two-day inaugural conclave is a platform for the biggest leaders of Asia, along with bureaucrats, to converge and facilitate conversations on Asia as a business hub and the role of rising business leaders.

Addressing the gathering, Najib hailed ties between Malaysia and India and how they had brought about business opportunities, with Asia and Asean being touted as important economic regions of the future.

He drove home the point that Malaysia was a politically stable country which offered attractive incentives to investors.

Najib also said Malaysia provided ample opportunities for investors wishing to take advantage of the country's position as a regional economic gateway.

Calling the Indian leader a bold reformist, he wished Modi success in undertaking reforms in his country and expressed confidence that the move would bring rewards in due course.

Najib said he looked forward to visiting India next year to further strengthen ties between the two countries and see exciting developments there under Modi's leadership.

Touching on terrorism, Najib said Malaysia was willing to share its deradicalisation programme with India in an effort to tackle the problem.

Modi and Najib also highlighted their efforts to lead their respective nations towards a more conducive and table environment.

The Indian prime minister pointed out that Asean leaders had spearheaded efforts for better integration in this region.

In the wider Asian region, he said, growth prospects had been "a ray of hope" amid the uncertain global economic environment. — Bernama