Deals worth $20 billion on Modi’s Far East table

  • Shishir Gupta, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 11, 2015 00:52 IST

With deals worth $20 billion on the table between Indian and Chinese private companies and South Korean mega-corporation Hyundai’s likely announcement of a major warships “Make in India” project, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to cement economic bridges with China and South Korea during his five-day trip next week.

Modi will be hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping in his hometown Xian on May 14, followed by official meetings in Beijing on May 15 and economic interaction in Shanghai.

The PM will be interacting with top CEOs of Chinese companies, exchanging candid views on the bilateral relationship with President Xi. “The bilateral political takeaways from the visit are still work in progress, and India has conveyed to China that it may be a strong power but Beijing cannot be an acceptable global power without the support of New Delhi,” a senior Union minister said.

The discussions between Modi and President Xi are expected to be rooted in ground realities, touch on Beijing’s largely India focused all-weather friendship with Pakistan, the pending resolution of India-China border dispute and long expected Beijing’s support for New Delhi entry into multi-lateral regimes. “Given PM Modi’s personal equation with President Xi, there is a strong possibility of a positive political outcome from the visit,” said a senior official.

During his two day trip to Mongolia, Modi will address the Parliament with signing of an agreement that allows Border Security Force to train border guards of the country locked between China and Russia.

In Seoul, the PM will meet six top CEOs of South Korea as well as visit the Hyundai Heavy Industries shipyard at Ulsan, one of the biggest in the world.

It is understood that Hyundai is keen to cooperate with Hindustan Shipyards to technically upgrade and overhaul the facility and jointly produce warships. Besides, Hyundai is also willing to announce “Make in India” in surface, submarines and container ship production with Ulsan shipyard alone producing around 130 container ships annually. A proposal to this effect was moved during defence minister Manohar Parrikar’s visit to Seoul last month but the closure largely depends on military bureaucracy.

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