The 12th meeting of Malaysia-India Defence Cooperation Committee (MIDCOM) was held in New Delhi on September 19, 2023. The meeting was co-chaired by Defence Secretary Shri Giridhar Aramane and Deputy Secretary General (Policy), Malaysia Mr Mohd Yani bin Daud. During the meeting, both sides reviewed the outcomes of the two sub-committee meetings namely Sub Committee on Military Cooperation held on July 27, 2023 and Joint Sub Committee on Defence Science Technology and Industry Cooperation held on September 18, 2023.
Both sides assessed the existing defence cooperation between the two countries and held wide-ranging discussions on issues of mutual interest including regional issues. They explored effective and practical initiatives to further expand bilateral defence engagements and agreed to establish a Strategic Affairs working Group (SAWG) to formulate a consultative mechanism intermediate between the MIDCOM and the two Sub-committees to handle all aspects of the defence cooperation between the two countries.
The two chairs also articulated steps in the direction of emerging areas of cooperation like cyber security and issues pertaining to global commons. They identified means to enhance existing areas of collaboration, especially in the field of defence industry, maritime security and multilateral cooperation.
During the MIDCOM, the Defence Secretary shared an 8-point proposal with the Malaysian side to expand cooperation between India and Malaysia on a wide range of areas such as Government to government-level engagement, Tri-Service cooperation, Training, UN Peacekeeping, Bilateral Services Engagement, Defence Industrial Cooperation, Research & Development and Regional/ Sub-Regional Engagements.
The Defence Secretary highlighted the potential of the domestic defence industry with capacity and capability to cooperate with the Malaysian Armed Forces in its shipbuilding and maintenance plans. Malaysia expressed confidence in the capability of the Indian defence industry and discussed possibilities for co-design, co-production and co-development in the field of defence industry. Both countries reaffirmed their commitment to implement fully the Enhanced Strategic Partnership based on mutual trust and understanding, common interests and shared values of democracy & rule of law.
As part of the visit, the Malaysian delegation also interacted with DRDO officials and identified areas of mutual interest. The delegation is scheduled to visit Mumbai on September 20, 2023 for interactions at Mazagaon Dockyard Limited and Headquarters, Western Naval Command.