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Modi, Xi chart new chapter in India-China economic ties

Modi, Xi chart new chapter in India-China economic ties
September 19
10:12 2014

New Delhi, Sep 19  Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping Thursday charted a new chapter in India-China economic ties, with Beijing assuring greater access to Indian goods and $20-billion investment and New Delhi rolling out red carpet for Chinese firms.

With economic relations topping the agenda for the talks between the two leaders here, the prime minister said he was particularly happy that China has agreed to set up two industrial parks in India and look at how the issue of trade deficit can be addressed.

“I raised the issue of trade imbalance between our countries. I also urged President Xi to give our companies better market access and investment opportunities in China,” Modi said after his talks with Xi, who is on a three-day official visit to India since Wednesday.

“The Chinese president assured that he will take concrete steps in this regard.”

India-China bilateral merchandise trade stood at $65.88 billion in 2013. While India’s exports to China were valued at $14.50 billion, its imports from China were much larger at $51.37 billion, resulting in a large trade deficit.

Modi, while delivering his statement before the media after the talks at Hyderabad House here, said India and China have much scope to increase economic cooperation, as it was way below the potential.

President Xi reciprocated what Modi said. “China and India will act as twin engines in spearheading economic growth in the region,” the Chinese president said. “China will invest $20 billion in India in five years,” he added.

“We will also align our strategy to strengthen rail infrastructure in India.”

The prime minister said he was pleased with the inking of agreements between the two sides for two Chinese industrial parks in India and Beijing’s commitment to invest around $20 billion in India over the next five years.

“I invited Chinese investments in infrastructure and manufacturing sectors. I’m glad two Chinese industrial parks will be built in India,” he said. “Also, the five-year economic and trade development plan is an important step.”

Speaking at an event hosted by the Indian Council for World Affairs later, the Chinese president said he agreed with the Indian prime minister’s remarks to him earlier in the day that the two countries were two bodies with one soul.

“These words reveal the connection between us,” Xi said.

He also praised Modi for his stewardship of India and said the country was in good hands under his leadership. “Both Prime Minister Modi and I have agreed to forge much closer ties between our two countries for development,” Xi added.

Among the agreements signed between India and China Thursday, those on economic matters included cooperation in railways, space and culture, easy customs norms, launch of two Chinese industrial parks and $20-billion Chinese investments in India over five years.

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