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PRIME Minister of India, Narendra Modi (background of two from right), in a meeting with the Head of State and the Government of ASEAN, at the Presidential Palace in New Delhi, India. - EPA photos

NEW DELHI: ASEAN and India yesterday agreed to enhance maritime and security cooperation in order to preserve the environment and curb crimes in the sea.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the decision was important as maritime potential and marine resources in the region were huge and important to be utilized for mutual benefit.
"The ASEAN-India Memorandum of Understanding began this evening (yesterday) with a residence session with the theme of maritime and security cooperation. This strategic partnership demonstrates the potential we can achieve from sustainable maritime sources.
"ASEAN leaders welcome India's desire to increase cooperation in this area. Leaders have set this issue a priority in ASEAN-India strategic cooperation.
"I also stressed that ASEAN and India should continue this effort especially in capacity building and exchange and information sharing to prevent crime in the sea, terrorism, extremism and piracy activities," he said at a press conference shortly after the completion of the settlement session with 10 ASEAN leaders and Prime Ministers India Narendra Modi, this evening.
Prime Minister and wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, arrived here yesterday for a two-day working visit to join the ASEAN-India Memorial Summit, which begins today.
Meanwhile, Najib said India's total trade with ASEAN last year reached US $ 72 billion, up from US $ 58 billion in 2016.
He said the total was 2.6 per cent of the total ASEAN trade with the outside world and India became the sixth largest trading partner of the idea after China, the United States, Japan, the European Union and South Korea.
At the press conference, Najib also announced that the International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed had witnessed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) involving SME Corporation Malaysia with National Small Industries Corporation India to enhance cooperation in the development of small and medium enterprises in both countries as well as enhance their competitiveness in international markets.
The second MOU between Malamega Ltd Malaysia and Puspathy Enclave Pvt Ltd India to explore the search and supply of fossil fuels, renewable green energy development, a joint business venture for US $ 20 million coal trade.
MOU between JS Rezeki Bumi Maju Sdn Bhd and GA Software Technology Pvt Ltd worth US $ 5 million to provide automation services based on artificial intelligence for the Immigration Department.
Fourth between Orchid Life Sdn Bhd and Vimta Labs Ltd worth US $ 960.00 to conduct clinical and clinical pre-clinical studies on kacip fatimah extract for anti-obesity use.
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