More than 150 Chinese companies attended the Beijing screening of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Make-it-India” speech on Thursday, seeking opportunities to invest and spelling out their apprehensions about doing business in India.
Organised at five-star hotel in Beijing by the Indian Embassy, the screening of Modi’s speech and the introduction to investing in India, was closely followed by the Chinese delegates; an indication, according to Indian diplomats, that many were keen to invest in India.
Speaking on the occasion, Lin Dajian from China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country’s top planning body, said there was a need to improve efficiency in the Indian business to strive towards economic growth.
China, she said, expects the Indian government to introduce preferential policies for Chinese companies.
“We hope Indian government introduces preferential policies and guidelines to smoothen the job for Chinese investors,” she said.
She added that the established framework for India-China economic dialogue should be strengthened.
Zhao Yan from the China Top 400 Foreign Trade Enterprises Club said the two countries are far from realising the true potential of bilateral trade.
“Last year, (Sino-India) trade was 65.4 billion USD. The China-Malaysia trade is more than 100 billion USD and trade with South Korea is more than 250 billion USD,” Zhao said.
Zhou Liliang from the TBEA Shenyang company, which manufactures power equipment, shared his experiences about setting up a factory in Gujarat.
Zhou recollected his first trip to India five years ago to carry out a feasibility study on putting up the factory. “After the study was completed, the company board agreed immediately to start the project,” he said.
It took more three more years before the factory was set up; it started working in June this year.
But Zhou is optimistic about the future and said the demand for power equipment in India is huge.
Bank of China, the country’s flagship state-owned bank, had a branch in India from 1941. But after the 1962 India-China war, the bank withdrew from India.
It was a decision that was regretted by the bank officials, Qiu Hengchang, heading the preparatory group that is working to set up a new branch in Mumbai, told the gathering.
Qiu said bureaucracy, lack of efficiency and acquiring land were some of the problems faced by Chinese companies investing in India.
The India branch, he said, is expected to open in Mumbai next year.
“Bank of China,” he said, “…was ready to play a part in India’s development,” he said.