China, India sign US$22b in deals

2015-05-17 00:52:35 GMT2015-05-17 08:52:35(Beijing Time)  Agencies

CHINA and India yesterday signed 26 business deals worth more than US$22 billion in areas including renewable energy, ports, financing and industrial parks, an Indian embassy official said.

Namgya C. Khampa, of the Indian Embassy in Beijing, made the remarks at the end of a three-day visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during which he sought to boost economic ties and quell anxiety over a border dispute between the neighbors.

“The agreements have a bilateral commercial engagement in sectors like renewable energy, industrial parks, power, steel, logistics, finance, media and entertainment,” Khampa said.

The new deals added to the 24 agreements signed on Friday.

Many of the contracts were for Chinese banks to finance Indian firms, while there were also deals in the telecom, steel, solar energy and film sectors, Khampa said.

Others included a deal for China Development Bank to fund a power plant for India’s Adani Power and a steel project between India’s Welspun Group and two Chinese firms.

“Let us work together in mutual interest and for progress and prosperity of our great countries,” Modi told executives from 200 Chinese and Indian firms at a forum in Shanghai.

The nationalist leader was on the final day of a three-day trip to his fellow Asian giant.

Modi welcomed potential Chinese investment in sectors including housing, renewable energy, high-speed rail, metro, ports and airports, adding that India was eager to draw on China’s expertise in mass manufacturing.

“We are very keen to develop the sectors where China is strong. We need your involvement,” he said.

“I believe that this century belongs to Asia,” he said as he sought to stress historical links between the two countries.

But they have followed significantly different economic paths in recent decades, with China rising to become the world’s second-largest economy while India has lagged behind.

Despite his hardline reputation, Modi has moved to engage with Beijing since his election victory last year, and he was looking for an economic boost from the visit, seeking to deliver on election promises for foreign investment.

China is India’s biggest trading partner with two-way commerce totaling US$71 billion last year. But India’s trade deficit with China has soared from US$1 billion in 2001-02 to more than US$38 billion last year, Indian figures show.

Earlier in Modi’s visit, President Xi Jinping welcomed him in his ancestral home of Xi’an, capital of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, in what was an unprecedented gesture.

Also yesterday, Modi opened a center for Indian and Gandhian studies — referring to the former Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi — at Fudan University in Shanghai.

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