India, China agree to deepen bilateral investment, open markets

India, China agree to deepen bilateral investment, open markets

High-power delegations led by India's Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and China's National Development and Reform Commission Chairman Zhang Ping had a very positive and successful dialogue on stepping up cooperation and coordination on a host of economic issues, Indian officials said.

The two sides have agreed to stay committed to deepening bilateral investment cooperation, further opening markets and improving the investment environment in both countries to lay a solid foundation for pragmatic cooperation between the businesses of the two countries on the basis of complementarities, mutual benefit and win-win outcomes, minutes circulated at the end of first session said.

The two sides also agreed to strengthen cooperation on energy efficiency and conservation, as well as on environmental protection.

Both sides agreed to actively foster cooperation on energy, including the renewable energy sector, in order to promote sustainable development.

Enhanced exchanges in these spheres would be the new engine for greater cooperation between the two sides, the minutes said.

In his opening address, Ahluwalia said India and China share many commonalities.

"China's economic reforms began a decade and more before those of India. Your achievements in transforming your economy are well recognised all over the world. We in India are deeply impressed by your progress and we believe there are many lessons from your experience that may be valuable to us," Ahluwalia said.

He noted that both countries had Five-Year plans for their development strategy.
"You have unveiled your Twelfth Plan and we are going to finalise our Twelfth Plan in 2012," he said.

"Challenges like energy efficiency, water pricing, management of urbanisation and rapid modernisation of infrastructure are common to us also," he said and proposed that the first goal of the SED should be a continuous exchange of economic experiences on all critical sectors from which both nations can benefit.

In his address, Zhang said as the world's economic and political landscape is undergoing "profound changes", India and China as developing countries are faced with rare and historical development opportunities.

"Since we are at the important stages of acceleration of industrialisation and urbanisation, our two countries are faced with similar or even identical problems in the course of development," he said.

He hoped that the SED will enhance mutual understanding and trust between India and China by drawing upon each other's strengths and experiences in economic development to seek mutually beneficial cooperation.

"By doing so, we will enhance our practical cooperation in various fields and find solutions to our common problems. This will help promote long-term and steady development of our respective economies and have a profound impact on our two countries," Zhang said.

"Closer cooperation will not only benefit our two countries, but also help to boost confidence of developing countries as a whole. The healthy development of Indian and Chinese economies will have a positive impact on the recovery and growth of Asian and world economies as a whole," Zhang said.

The two sides agreed to host the next SED in 2012 in India.
The SED mechanism was agreed by the Prime Ministers of both the countries during Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to New Delhi last year.

Besides Ahluwalia, the Indian delegation included Planning Commission Member (Energy) B K Chaturvedi, Railway Board Chairman Vinay Mittal, Indian Ambassador to China S Jaishankar, Ministry of of Water Resources Secretary Dhruv Vijay Singh, Railway Board Member (Electrical) Kul Bhushan and Bureau of Energy Efficiency Director General Ajay Mathur.

Furthermore, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion Senior Economic Adviser M C Singhi, External Affairs Ministry Joint Secretary, (East Asia) Gautam Bambawale, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy Joint Secretary Shashi Shekhar, Railway Board Adviser (Infrastructure) R K Jain, Department of Information Technology Economic Adviser B N Setpathy and Department of Commerce Economic Adviser Augustine Peter were part of the delegation.

After the first session, both sides -- represented by 12 officials each drawn from different ministries -- split into three different working groups and discussed specific issues of cooperation.

The topics included foreign capital utilisation policies, energy conservation and environment protection and water issues.

Indian officials clarified that the water issues related only to urban water infrastructure issues like pricing, water saving technology and enhancing ground water resources.
The talks have not touched upon sharing of inter-river waters or any issues related to Brahmaputra river, the officials said.

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