President Pranab Mukherjee promised on Wednesday a conducive environment for Chinese investors and urged them to participate in ‘Make in India’ and other flagship programmes of the government to boost bilateral trade.
“We will facilitate your efforts to make your investments in India profitable. We must take advantage of the opportunities that abound in the growth of both our economies,” Mukherjee said while addressing a meeting of the India-China Business Forum in Guangzhou on the second day of his four-day visit.
Mukherjee said India would like to see greater market for Indian products in China in a bid to balance bilateral trade which is now in China’s favour.
This, he said, would particularly be needed in sectors where the two countries have natural complementarities as in drugs and pharmaceuticals, IT, IT-related services and agro products.
“It is a matter of satisfaction that there is emerging focus on two-way investment flows,” he said.
The President noted that the bilateral trade between India and China has grown steadily since the turn of this century from 2.91 billion dollar in 2000 to 71 billion last year.
Guangdon province boasts of a one trillion dollar economy with high manufacturing and other industries along with being a powerful export house of China. It has sister province relationship with Gujarat and Maharashtra.
A pilot smart city cooperation project has been announced between Shenzhen and the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City in Gujarat last year.
Referring to the links of 2nd century before the Christian era between Guangdong and Kanchipuram through a direct sea route, Mukherjee said this is an exciting time for India and China to reinforce the old linkages and join hands for new.
Noting that India has recorded a growth rate of 7.6% each year for over a decade now, Mukherjee said India believes that it cannot grow in isolation.
“In an increasingly interconnected world, India would like to benefit from technology advances and best practices of different countries.
“The comprehensive reforms introduced in key areas of our economy have enhanced the ease of doing business in India. Our foreign investment regime has been liberalised through simplified procedures. And removal of restrictions on foreign investments,” he said.
The President said these reforms have renewed the interest of global investors in India. In 2014, there was a 32% growth in investments and in 2015, India emerged as one of the biggest global investment destinations, he said.