India and China discussed in detail further cooperation and coordination in areas such as mutual investments and market access on Saturday amid a protectionist push from the US.
The two countries held another round of their Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) which has played a positive role for the two countries to seize opportunities, enhance mutual trust, expand consensus, strengthen strategic coordination and cooperation, and boost sustainable economic development.
During the talks in the Chinese capital, both sides discussed key economic issues impacting both countries and areas of mutual interest and the possibility of aligning the Make in India initiative and Made in China 2025.
The Indian side took the opportunity to express concerns regarding growing trade imbalance with China and huge untapped potential of India’s exports to China by addressing market access issues.
On Friday, five Working groups in the areas of infrastructure, high-tech, energy, resource conservation and policy coordination reviewed the progress made so far and had discussion on areas for further cooperation and collaboration.
The working group on policy coordination discussed in detail the areas of mutual cooperation, including mutual investments. The possible collaboration with some of the provinces in China in the economic field was also discussed.
Both sides would be indicating areas where one’s industry has been facing difficulties in promoting their business operations in the other country and expect the other side to have mechanism to speedily resolve those problems, the Indian Embassy in the Chinese capital said.
The Working Group on Infrastructure discussed various areas of cooperation, including setting up of manufacturing units by Chinese companies in India instead of just selling the products. This is feasible considering huge demand in India and growth in India’s ecosystem can be used to export the railway products from India.
The foreign investment policy in India welcomes foreign capital and with improving business environment, In the area of information technology and electronic hardware manufacturing, India and China have different competitive advantages which creates many opportunities for cooperation. The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) highlighted the opportunities for cooperation between India and China in the domain of High Technology in areas such as smart cities, digital payments, smart manufacturing.
Both sides exchanged ideas in the fields of information technology, high-tech manufacturing industry and telecommunication, shared insights and views on technology innovation, industry situation and future development trend, and held an in-depth discussion on strengthening fields’ cooperation.
They reviewed the cooperation so far since the SED mechanism initiated in the area of Resource Conservation and Environmental Protection and agreed to cooperate in the areas of waste to energy, waste water treatment, desalination, promoting reuse of tertiary treated water, water usage efficiency and related areas, and to further explore areas for collaboration in resource conservation sector.
The group on energy observed the deep engagements between two countries in the energy sector. India has taken up an ambitious programme of renewable energy and would seek partnership with China in R&D and manufacturing.
Both sides agreed for further cooperation in renewable energy promotion, including wind and solar power, and for speeding up of cooperation in solar cell/module manufacturing in India.
The representatives from the government, enterprises and research institutions will conduct field investigations and related meetings to promote the implementation of the achievements of this SED.
The dialogue was held between National Institution for Transforming of India (NITI) Aayog and National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China. The Indian side was led by Rajiv Kumar, vice-chairman, NITI Aayog, and the Chinese side was led by He Lifeng, chairman of NDRC.
Ambassador Gautam Bambawale was also present in the Dialogue.
Kumar said a working group on culture be formed, as Indian films are having a successful run in China, and another on pharmaceuticals.
He also invited Chinese investment in affordable housing projects in India. The dialogue comes a day after National Security Advisor Ajit Doval held talks with a top Chinese diplomat and Politburo member Yang Jiechi in Shanghai, and ahead of several key dialogues between the two neighbours, who have been looking to reset ties after last year’s border standoff at Doklam.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be in Beijing on April 24 for consultations under the Shanghai Cooperation Organization security grouping’s framework. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to attend the SCO summit in Qingdao in June.
The 6th SED will be held on mutually convenient dates in India.