The governments of India and China have showcased the political will to take its economic relationship to the next level by providing dynamism and momentum to investment projects.
It was evident from the success of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to China that the two countries were ready to explore opportunities to strengthen their bilateral link. This was stated here today by Amitabh Kant, Secretary (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, while addressing a seminar on ‘India-China Industrial Cooperation’ organized by FICCI in partnership with the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China.
Kant said that between the two nations there is a huge trade deficit, which is not sustainable. The exports to China from India had been only US$ 14.8 billion whereas imports from China stood at nearly US$ 51 billion. To correct this trade imbalance, it was necessary that Chinese industry invests and manufactures in India, instead of exporting its products to India.
He said that China had the ability to rapidly create world-class infrastructure and possessed liquidity to finance long term projects. Kant suggested that the Chinese industry could finance long term infrastructure projects and bring its cutting-edge technology to India.
China was the factory of the world and India was the back office. Together the two could bring progress and prosperity for its people. Citing the example of Chairman of Dalian Wanda Group, Wang Jianlin, Kant said that the commercial and real estate giant of China, had expressed desire to build five industrial parks in India.
He added that India should learn from the ambitious spirit of Chinese entrepreneurs, who think big and have a long term vision.
Suri said that it was heartening to note that several agreements were signed including business MoUs worth more than US$ 20 billion during Prime Minister Modi’s visit to China last month to further the partnership between the two nations
Expanding India-China trade cooperation
Le Yucheng, Ambassador, Embassy of People’s Republic of China in India, said that the three keys to advance industrial cooperation between India and China were infrastructure and manufacturing, focus at the local level by China, exploring India’s domestic market and business community.
Elaborating on the key areas, he said that infrastructure was the very foundation of connectivity, which was essential to bring about a true Asian century with shared development of China and India. Whereas in manufacturing China had accumulated abundant experience, technology, know-how, capital and human resources in manufacturing, which could be applied to the promising market in India.
Yucheng said that the core of China-India industrial cooperation lies at the local level, as this is where the greatest potential lies. Sub-national cooperation was an effective way to tap into the full potential of different regions.
He added that India and China were now witnessing a new wave of business cooperation between the two countries with many success stories. Speaking about the business environment in India, Yucheng said that the Modi government had taken effective measures to enhance government efficiency, improve market environment, and make it easier for Chinese businesses to invest in India, including granting e-visa to Chinese nationals, appointing a Joint Secretary in the PMO to overlook Chinese investment and relaxing restrictions and security checks for Chinese companies. He added that to facilitate business engagement and help explore market opportunities in each other’s country, many investment forums and exhibitions have been set up in both countries.
Dr. Jyotsna Suri, President, FICCI, said that while there is deep interest about India in China, the number of Chinese visiting the country is minuscule and similarly, the number of Indians travelling to China is also not up to the potential.
“I am very happy that both governments have realized this important facet of our relationship and 2015 is declared as ‘Visit India Year’ and next year will be ‘Visit China Year'. Our Prime Minister’s announcement to offer electronic visas to Chinese tourists is a landmark initiative and we hope to receive more and more friends from China in the times ahead,” she added.