Malaysian firms urged to form consortium to tap into Indian, Sri Lankan markets

May 12, 2016 6:20 am 

KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 — The malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) is urging Malaysian companies to form a consortium to bid for projects in the fast growing economies of India and Sri Lanka.

Matrade Senior Director Strategic Planning Division Wan Latiff Wan Musa said the chances of winning a tender would be higher with a team offering complete resources.

"We need to come in as a team, in areas such as infrastructure, engineering, design, information technology and construction rather than individually.

"As mentioned by the Indian and Sri Lankan governments, they are eyeing more infrastructure projects and facilities such as ports, airport construction and airport management, power and water supplies," he told Bernama, adding that the Malaysian government will be getting the development plan details from both countries soon.

He said a lot of opportunities came out unexpectedly during the trade and investment mission to India and Sri Lanka led by Minister of International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed on May 1-6.

"For example, during the visit to Andhra Pradesh (AP), the eighth largest state in India which is now progressively undertaking economic reforms, many potential businesses can be tapped by Malaysian companies.

"At the moment AP is working with the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) to develop, implement and monitor the state government's programmes and strategic development plans, giving us a chance to explore the market," he said.

AP, known as India's sunrise state, has a Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) of USD 77 billion at current prices and is targeted to become a developed state by 2029.

Wan Latiff noted that many countries have shown interest in developing AP, which has received 500 investment proposals.

"malaysia should also take this opportunity and focus on areas that we have capabilities in.

"We are no stranger to the country's infrastructure development as we have the expertise and experience to bid for almost all types of infrastructure projects outside Malaysia," he said.

Wan Latiff said the new state of Telangana, with a population of some 35 million, is also undergoing rapid development, and offers tremendous investment opportunities in the infrastructure sector.

"The Telangana Minister for Information and Technology, Municipal Administration and Industries, Kalvakuntla Taraka Rama Rao, has said that they are seeking collaboration with Malaysia in setting up an industrial hub for various sectors such as food processing, education and pharmaceuticals in India.

"This is a good opportunity for us that should not be wasted," he added.

In Sri Lanka, which is looking at developing a megapolis, there could be a lot of construction as well, Wan Latiff said.

"We are confident that Malaysian companies are ready to work with their Sri Lankan counterparts to bid for construction and infrastructure projects," he said.

Malaysian entities active in Sri Lanka include Axiata Group Bhd via its subsidiary Dialog Axiata PLC, Demak Manufacturing Lanka Pvt Ltd, Hyrax Oil Sdn Bhd and the Construction Industry Development Board (CIDB).

The potential export value from the business-to-business sessions between Malaysian companies and their Indian and Sri Lankan counterparts is estimated at RM3.7 million within three to six months.

The exports could include construction materials, home appliances, food and beverages and franchise services, Wan Latiff said.

As of the first quarter of 2016, Malaysia's exports to India stood at RM7.53 billion with exports to Sri Lanka at RM503 million. (PNA/Bernama)

RMA/CDN

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