“India went through a difficult period in terms of growth and inflation, but now there has been a lot of hype on what is happening in the country and it has generated a lot of excitement.
“A number of world leaders are also coming to the country and are keen to do business,” he said.
India’s gross domestic product expanded below five per cent in the last two financial years, but growth has slowly started to recover and is expected to return to seven-eight per cent trajectory.
“We are beginning to see improvement in business climate and of course it cannot happen immediately. It takes a while before the policies and statements are translated into facts and figures but business sentiment and confidence are important and I can say they are good.
“The world is looking for engines of growth and India is there.
“America is coming back quite strongly, the European Union is facing some challenges, China has a mild slowdown, but it is very small.
“The world is looking for engines of growth. Asean will continue to be a dynamic region and India can be another pillar in Asia,” Mustapa said.
Mustapa said he had an opportunity to meet India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, on the sidelines of the Asean and East Asia Summits in Myanmar.
“I met Modi during his bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and we were able to listen from him on what is happening in India,” he said.
Mustapa, who is here on a three-day trade and investment mission, had earlier met potential investors from India as well as Malaysian businesses that already had establishments here.
Also present were Malaysian High Commissioner to India, Datuk Naimun Ashakali Mohammad, and officials from Malaysian Investment Development Authority and Malaysian External Trade Development Corp.
The minister, who will head for the Confederation of Indian Industry Summit to be held in Jaipur, Rajasthan, said he was looking forward to meet his counterpart in India, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
“I am looking forward to it to understand the current policy changes that has been introduced by the Prime Minister.
“I want to exchange views, more importantly, on our bilateral ties as well as India’s relationship with Asean as Malaysia assumes the chairmanship this year,” he said at a press conference here today.
He said India has been Malaysia’s very important trading partner since 1998, being the largest export destination in the South Asia region.
“I come to India two or three times a year and that show how important the country is as our trading partner,” he said, reiterating that Malaysia was confident of achieving the bilateral trade target of US$15 billion by year-end.
Malaysia-India total trade from January to November 2014 touched US$12.59 billion (RM40.91 billion). Total trade in 2013 was US$13.38 billion (RM42.12 billion).
To-date, Malaysia’s investments in India amount to US$6 billion and India’s participation in Malaysia US$1.2 billion (RM3.96 billion).
Malaysia’s major exports to India last year were electrical and electronic products, chemicals and chemical products, metal and palm oil, while the main imports from India were chemicals and chemical products as well as meat.
The implementation of the Malaysia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement on July 1, 2011 has further boosted bilateral trade between the two countries.