CHENNAI – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak arrived here Thursday to begin his six-day official visit to India which will also take him to New Delhi and Jaipur.
The special aircraft carrying the prime minister and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor landed at the Chennai International Airport at about 1.50 pm local time (4.25 pm Malaysian time).
On hand to welcome the Malaysian delegation were High Commissioner of Malaysia to India Datuk Hidayat Abdul Hamid, Malaysia’s Consul-General in Chennai, Ahmad Fajarazam Abdul Jalil and Indian Public Protocol Principal Secretary, Shiv Das Meena.
The prime minister and wife were later received at the ITC Grand Chola Hotel in downtown Chennai, by Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, Malaysian Special Envoy on Infrastructure to India and South Asia Datuk Seri S.Samy Vellu, Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S.Subramaniam, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports Datuk M.Saravanan, Education Deputy Minister Datuk P.Kamalanathan, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Senator Datuk Seri S.K.Devamany and Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Datuk Ramlan Ibrahim.
Najib’s official visit to India from March 30 to Apr 4 is at the invitation of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The visit, which aimed to broaden and deepen the long-standing cooperation between the two nations is also very significant as Malaysia and India marked the 60th anniversary of their diplomatic relations this year.
This would be Najib’s third visit to India since assuming office as the prime minister in 2009.
To begin his two-day visit in Chennai, Najib is slated to meet the Acting Governor of Tamil Nadu, Vidyasagar Rao and the state’s new Chief Minister, Edappadi Palaniswami, later today.
The meeting will be followed by a dinner hosted by Rao in honour of Najib and Rosmah, at the Governor’s Residence, here.
On Friday (March 31), Najib who is also the Finance Minister will be attending a business meeting organised by The Malaysian Associated Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MAICCI) followed by a session with the Malaysian community as well as students.
Najib is also scheduled to perform Friday prayers at the Anjuman Mosque before concluding his visit here.
The prime minister is to fly to India’s capital New Delhi on Friday where he will be accorded an official welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace, upon arrival.
A tight schedule awaits Najib in New Delhi where the prime minister among others is scheduled to pay a courtesy call on the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, followed by a restricted meeting with his Indian counterpart and bilateral meeting with senior members of both delegations.
Issues on the table expected to be discussed during the bilateral meeting include trade and investment, infrastructure projects, defence cooperation, air service arrangements, tourism and culture relations as well as issues of mutual concern on regional and international cooperation.
Najib in his blog najibrazak.com last night expressed interest to explore new opportunities in India during this visit as well as to further strengthen bilateral ties between both countries.
Apart from the bilateral meeting, Najib will also be holding dialogue sessions with leaders and captains of industry from major business sectors in India.
The prime minister is also expected to attend a business luncheon and the 7th Global Science and Innovation Advisory Council Meeting (GSIAC) in New Delhi.
Najib is then scheduled to travel to Jaipur to attend a high level discussion on the progress of Malaysian companies in infrastructure projects in the city which is also dubbed as the ‘pink city’. – BERNAMA