Industry captains from India and China will shortly kick-start formal discussions under the recently set up CEOs forum to hammer out the contours of a strategy on a wide range of issues including possible joint ventures in new growth hotspots such as Africa.
The Indian government has mandated the CEO’s forum to “develop synergies to explore business opportunities in third countries,” besides promoting bilateral trade and investment between the world’s two most populous nations.
The CEO’s forum, co-chaired by Reliance ADAG chairman Anil Ambani with Mahindra & Mahindra’s Anand Mahindra, also include Essar Group’s Prashant Ruia, Ashok Leyland’s R Seshasayee and many others as members.
The forum, first announced during Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to India in December last year, has been asked to look for opportunities where companies from both the countries can jointly invest rather than competing against each other on new areas.
The dialogue among industrialists will feed into the larger government-to-government ‘Strategic Economic Dialogue’.
Planning Commission deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia will lead a delegation to Beijing later this month to begin the first round of discussions aimed at doubling bilateral trade to $100 billion (R4,60,000 crore) by 2015.
India has already allowed Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) to set up commercial operations in India.
ICBC is among China’s “big four” government-owned commercial banks that also include Bank of China, the China Construction Bank and the Agricultural Bank of China, which were pressing for regulatory approval from India to set up branches and start commercial operations on grounds of the “reciprocity principle,” a government source, who did not wish to be identified, said.