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'India, China can develop energy cooperation'

"India and China should have multiplicity of engagements with other countries to achieve energy security," said Talmiz Ahmad.

india Updated: Nov 26, 2006 18:46 IST

India and China can further develop their cooperation in energy security by exploiting their mutual synergies, experts feel but are still skeptical about Beijing's intentions in joining hands with New Delhi.

"India and China should have multiplicity of engagements with other countries to achieve energy security. China and India have significant synergies in the energy sector," said Talmiz Ahmad, till recently the head of petroleum ministry's international division.

"India's energy discourse is based on cooperation, rather than competition and rivalry, which is the case with the US," Ahmad, Director-General of Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) told experts and academics at a three-day seminar on Central Asia that began in New Delhi on Saturday.

However, a section of experts were sceptical about China's intentions in fostering such a cooperation with India, particularly after its actions in bidding for energy assets in Ecuador and Angola, where Indian companies had also bid, resulting a "considerable hike in the energy stake prices in host countries."

"It often appears that China's overseas energy strategy adversely affects India's energy interests," said J Nandakumar of the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses at the international seminar -'Energy and Transport: Linkages between Central and South Asia', organised by Himalayan Research and Cultural Foundation and Jawaharlal Nehru University.

As a case in point, he cited state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation's (CNPC) acquisition of Petrokazakhstan last year for which an Indian energy consortium had placed a bid.

First Published: Nov 26, 2006 15:13 IST