: ASEAN countries should strengthen economic ties with India, which has become a vital market for the bloc after China, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said.
India, with a population of over 1.25 billion, is a country on the rise and is one of the world's fastest growing economies after China, he said.
"We believe the country offers immense potential especially in infrastructure development," Mustapa said on the sidelines after a panel discussion titled "Battling over Asia's Economic Architecture" at the World Economic Forum on ASEAN 2016 here today.
Noting the vital need for infrastructure in India, Mustapa said he sees the South Asian nation as another star coming up very rapidly in the next decade.
Malaysia has a strategy for India and it is important for the country to engage more often with the local Indian companies across the board, he said, noting that an ecosystem approach would strengthen complementarity between Malaysian and Indian companies.
"Our Malaysian companies have already established their presence there in the areas of railways, construction and township development.
"We have done these, but my point is, it is not enough, given the size of India and the pockets of opportunities that it has yet to offer. We have to do a lot more," added Mustapa.
Together, India and ASEAN constitute a community of 1.8 billion people with a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of US$3.8 trillion.
Mustapa said Malaysia can also act as the gateway to the ASEAN market for India, adding Indian companies should look ahead for expansion in Malaysia to strengthen their presence in the ASEAN region in the areas of their expertise.