Malaysia seeks closer cooperation with India in security, economic sphere

New Delhi, Dec 20 (ANI): Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak met his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Thursday and sought closer cooperation in security and economic sphere ahead of the 20th anniversary of the ASEAN-India dialogue partnership summit.

Improving relations with ASEAN has been key to India's "Look East Policy" and there has been steady progress in the ASEAN-India relations since the policy was initiated in 1991.

For India, improved relations with Southeast Asia will give it entry into one of the fastest-growing economic regions in the world and a source of raw materials needed for its own growth

Razak is leading a high delegation to attend the summit, which is to be held in New Delhi on December 20-21, 2012, with the theme of 'ASEAN-India Partnership for Peace and Shared Prosperity'.

The first meeting of ASEAN leaders in India is a watershed in India's efforts to build ties with Southeast Asia.

The prime ministers of Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, the presidents of Myanmar and Indonesian, and the vice president of the Philippines are scheduled to attend. The other nations in the group are Thailand, Laos, and Brunei.

India walks a delicate line to balance its increasingly close partnership with Washington as President Barack Obama steps up the U.S. presence in Asian, and the reality of living next door to China, Asia's fastest-growing superpower.

The country sees this partnership as a step to further economic growth and prosperity, peace and stability in the region.

ASEAN-India trade in 2011-12 reached USD 79.3 billion, crossing the target of USD 70 billion by 2012 set in 2009. (ANI)

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