IT will be an old familiar feeling for Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak when he arrives in the Indian capital on Wednesday.
This marks his fourth official visit to India since taking office in 2009, coming on the heels of his high-profile appearances in Chennai and New Delhi less than a year ago.
Last April, Indian and Malaysian business leaders signed one of the biggest trade deals in Malaysian history – US$36bil (RM158.68bil).
The amount was even higher than the RM144bil worth of deals signed by Malaysia in China just four months earlier.
India’s relationship with the 10-nation regional grouping is a key pillar of its foreign policy and foundation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Act East Policy.
The world’s largest democracy became a Sectoral Partner of Asean in 1992, Dialogue Partner in 1996 and Summit Level Partner in 2002, leading to its upgrading as a Strategic Partner in 2012.
Political observers said Najib’s presence at the two-day Commemorative Summit, themed “Shared Values, Common Destiny”, on Thursday, recognises the geo-political importance of India to Asean.
“His visits to India also prove his interest to widen engagement with a country that is predicted to be the