India will make it easier for Chinese companies to do business in the country as it seeks to take bilateral economic ties with China to “a qualitatively new level”, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said .
She also suggested a six-point template including “action-oriented approach” to boost mutual ties.
Addressing the launch of the Second India-China Media Forum, Sushma Swaraj also said the Narendra Modi government was committed to exploring an early settlement to the India-China boundary row.
Noting China was India’s largest partner in trade and goods and the two economies are moving to invest in each other, she said: “Serious discussions on enhancing connectivity have been initiated. On that foundation, we are now seeking to take our economic cooperation to a qualitatively new level.”
“Another major thrust is in establishing industrial parks in two Indian states that would contribute to the ‘Make in India’ initiative,” she said.
“We will make it easier for Chinese companies to do business in India and expect that similar encouragement would be given to our companies to expand their business in China.”
Sushma Swaraj said that as both countries play a larger international role, “our contacts and dialogues must commensurately grow. As the two major civilizational powers of Asia, we should have confidence in each other, to build on our shared interests”.
The minister said that the media forum was was envisaged as a platform to encourage appreciation and build understanding of each other’s societies in their respective media.
“As our strategic and cooperative relationship deepens in the bilateral domain and expands in regional and international cooperation, it is vital that or people have a good understanding of each other’s interests and viewpoints.”
She outlined a six-point template for boosting ties including action-oriented approach, broad-based bilateral engagement, convergence on common regional and global interests, developing new areas of cooperation, expanding strategic communication and fulfilling common aspirations to usher an “Asian Century”.
A significant new area of bilateral collaboration was in railways including heavy haulage and boosting speed, she said.
Sushma Swaraj also appreciated China’s decision to open an additional route through Nathula for the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra.
“Our relationship today has reached a level where we have interactions in fields that could not have been imagined some years ago.
“We have made considerable progress in establishing and expanding defence contacts and exchanges, including across our border. They contribute to the maintenance of peace and tranquility there, a pre-requisite for the further development of our relationship.”
The minister underlined that the Modi government had commenced “a number of key initiatives addressing a wide range of ambitious goals” which “provide new opportunities for cooperation insofar as our key international partners are concerned”.
“Where China is concerned, this is very evident in the frequency of our high-level exchanges and the widening of our already substantive bilateral agenda.”
She recalled Prime Minister Modi had three successful meetings with President Xi Jinping, who visited India in September 2014. Modi had also interacted with Primier Li Keqiang.
“We expect that the momentum that has been set in the last few months would not only be kept up but accelerated event further at various levels.”
Sushma Swaraj, who will Monday launch ‘2015: Visit India Year’ in China, said that Chinese monks Fa Hsien and Xuan Zang had visited India in search of knowledge and Indian monks Kashyap Matanga, Dharmaratna and many others travelled to China to spread knowledge.
“It is important for us to revive the Xuan Zang spirit among Chinese scholars and journalists and Kumarjiva spirit among Indian scholars and journalists,” she said.