India woos Chinese investors, promises conducive environment

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Deeply concerned over the $46 billion Chinese investment in different sectors in Pakistan, India on Wednesday promised a conducive environment for Chinese investors and urged them to participate in ‘Make in India’ and other flagship programmes of the government to boost bilateral trade.

“We will facilitate your efforts to make your investments in India profitable. We must take advantage of the opportunities that abound in the growth of both our economies,” said visiting Indian President Pranab Mukherjee while addressing a meeting of the India-China Business Forum on the second day of his four-day visit to China.

The forum, attended by industrialists and businessmen from both sides, was told by the president that India would like to see a bigger market for Indian products in China in a bid to balance bilateral trade which is now in China’s favour.

“It is a matter of satisfaction that there is emerging focus on two-way investment flows,” he said.

The Indian president noted that the bilateral trade between India and China has grown steadily since the turn of this century from $2.91 billion in 2000 to $71 billion last year.

Guangdon province boasts of a $1 trillion economy with high manufacturing and other industries along with being a powerful export house of China. It has a sister province relationship with Gujarat and Maharashtra.

A pilot smart city cooperation project has been announced between Shenzhen and the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City in Gujarat last year.

Noting that India has recorded a growth rate of 7.6 per cent each year for over a decade now, he said India believes that it cannot grow in isolation.

“In an increasingly interconnected world, India would like to benefit from technology advances and best practices of different countries. The comprehensive reforms introduced in key areas of our economy have enhanced the ease of doing business in India. Our foreign investment regime has been liberalised through simplified procedures and removal of restrictions on foreign investments,” he said.

Mukherjee said India would like more of China’s overseas direct investment which has now crossed the $100 billion mark.

He said the Indian government is setting up industrial corridors, national investment and manufacturing zones and dedicated freight corridors to stimulate investment in this sector.

Its ‘100 Smart Cities” initiative will transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy, he said.

“India welcomes your participation in these programmes. Chinese companies with inherent strengths in infrastructure and manufacturing can look towards India as an important destination in their ‘Going Global’ strategy,” he said, adding, “On their part, Indian companies can partner with Chinese enterprises in the new domain of ‘Internet of Things’ which underlines the ‘Made in China 2025’ strategy.”

Summing up, the president said India believes there is a great potential for economic and commercial cooperation among the two countries, which faced similar opportunities on coming together.

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