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HindustanTimes Thu,10 Jul 2014

High-speed trains, trade on India-China agenda

Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 22, 2012
First Published: 19:02 IST(22/11/2012) | Last Updated: 00:50 IST(26/11/2012)

World's two fastest growing economies - India and China -- will join hands to foster their economic power and counter dominance of the west in global trade sphere.

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It could result in India having high speed Chinese trains and Indian information technology experts working in China. 

The two countries would provide opportunities to companies to invest in their respective countries and share technological knowhow under India-China Strategic Economic Dialogue with an aim to achieve the trade target of $70 billion by end of this year and to cross $100 billion by 2015.

China is India's biggest trade partner.

As many as 10 agreements between Indian and Chinese companies are expected to be signed at second leg of the dialogue in Delhi from November 26 being anchored by Planning Commission.

The inaugural session was held in Beijing this October where the broad outline for the cooperation was agreed upon.

The agreements in infrastructure and IT sectors indicate India is willing to allow Chinese companies to expand business here provided China allows market access to Indian companies, especially in sectors such as pharma and IT.

"Each agreement is worth $20 million dollars to start with," a senior government functionary said.

But what has enthused Indian government is the possibility of getting high speed Chinese trains for Indian railways at a cost much lesser than from the known international player Japan.

Government officials said India is looking to utilize Chinese expertise and technology to develop six high speed rail corridors including small distance routes such as Delhi and Chandigarh.

China launched its bullet trains in 2007 and within a few years it developed world's largest high-speed rail network.

While questions on safety of Chinese high speed trains have been an issue, a working group between Girish Pillai, executive director (Infrastructure) in railway ministry and Huang Min, director general in department of basic industries will chalk out the possible areas of cooperation.

Another area India and China is looking for cooperation is clean technologies with an aim to check growth of global warming causing green house gas emissions.

Two working groups - energy and environmental protection --- have been constituted to chalk out proposals for cooperation.

"We have shown willingness to learn from Chinese experience in water and energy efficiency for faster and sustainable economic growth," an official said, adding that India and China had closely collaborated on different issues in international climate and environment negotiations.

The importance of the strategic dialogue could be gauged from the fact that India is the second country in the world with which China has such an arrangement.

Zhang Ping, head of China's national development and reform commission and plan panel deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia will co-chair the dialogue.


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