India and China on Monday signed three bilateral agreements, which include the setting up of industrial parks and increasing the sharing of flood water data from the Brahmaputra river. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) on industrial parks provides an “enabling framework” for Chinese companies to set up manufacturing units at industrial parks in India.
The agreements were signed in the presence of vice-president Hamid Ansari and his Chinese counterpart Li Yuanchao after their talks. “There could be a basket of things that could happen in each of these industrial parks or corridors where activities pertaining to several sectors could take place,” Nirmala Sitharaman, commerce minister, had told Indian journalists on Sunday.
An Industrial Park Cooperation Working Group will also be set up, an official statement said.
The MoU on flood data sharing will provide India with 15 days more of hydrological data of river Brahmaputra. The data helps India in flood forecasting.
China has begun developing Tibet’s water resources on the Yarlung Zangbo river — which flows into India as Brahmaputra — and the first unit at the Zangmu hydropower station is scheduled to start operation in 2014.
The two countries have had six rounds of expert-level talks on the water issue since 2007 and China had earlier attempted to play down India’s fears that it could use strategically positioned dams to regulate water flow.
The third MoU will help the two countries establish a framework for regular interactions between administrative officials to share experiences and learn from each other’s best practices.