No ban on Chinese companies: Pranab | india | Hindustan Times
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No ban on Chinese companies: Pranab

india Updated: Nov 07, 2006 21:52 IST
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External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee clarified on Tuesday that there was no blanket ban against Chinese companies doing business in the country.

Responding to the recent charge by Beijing, he said denial of permission to one Chinese company did not mean that all companies from that country had been barred from investing in India.

"We are inviting everybody. Our policy is not related to any country specifically," he emphasised.

Mukherjee spoke to reporters on the sidelines of a meeting held to commemorate the silver jubilee year of Indian Council for Research and International Economic Relations ((ICRIER).

Earlier, speaking at the conference, Pranab Mukherjee asked Pakistan to remove hurdles to free trade under SAARC Free Trade Arrangement (SAFTA). Unless Pakistan removed the obstructions, making SAFTA operational would be difficult.

"Pakistan has expanded the basket (of trading goods under positive list) by adding 78 items. I am not interested in the number of items. I am interested in seeing that the obstructions, which are there, are removed. There should be free flow of trade."

He pointed out that the framework for SAFTA was ready and was scheduled to become operational on January 1 this year after tariff negotiations were completed.

Speaking on the occasion, the Deputy Chairman of the Bihar Planning Board NK Singh said that Pranab Mukherjee as External Affairs Minister was expected to bring about reorientation in diplomacy, especially the organisation and attitude of the foreign office "to further India's economic interests internationally". Singh hoped that Mukherjee would work towards securing investments, penetrating markets and ensuring energy security for the country.

NK Singh described Pranab Mukherjee as "consensus maker, contributing to sensible policies and sensible economics for managing the dynamics of a political economy like ours".