China, India Sign $22 Billion in Deals

Modi and Li
Narendra Modi and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang take a selfie

Published May 16, 2015 2:55 AM by Wendy Laursen

China and India signed deals worth more than $22 billion in areas including renewable energy, ports, financing, marine science, mineral exploration and industrial parks, an Indian embassy official said on Saturday.

Namgya C. Khampa, of the Indian Embassy in China, made the remarks at the end of a three-day visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during which he sought to boost economic ties and quell anxiety over a border dispute between the neighbors.

"The agreements have a bilateral commercial engagement in sectors like renewable energy, industrial parks, power, steel, logistics finance and media and entertainment," Khampa said.

China is interested in more opportunities in India's $2 trillion economy.

During a visit to India last year by Chinese President Xi Jinping, China announced $20 billion in investments over five years, including setting up two industrial parks.

Since then, progress has been slow, in part because of the difficulties Modi has had in getting political approval for easier land acquisition laws. 

Modi, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping discussed issues that have hindered cooperation between the two nations including border disputes in the Himalayas, a heavy trade imbalance in China’s favor and India’s wariness toward China’s dealings with Pakistan, India’s rival.

During his visit to China, Modi addressed students at Tsinghua University and presented a broad argument for cooperation, reports The New York Times. Both China and India face extremist terrorism whose “source is in the same region,” and uncertainty about energy supplies. Additionally, both countries depend on the same sea lanes for international commerce. 

“We have a historic responsibility to turn this relationship into a source of strength for each other and a force of good for the world,” tweeted Modi from China on Friday. “This has been a very productive and positive visit. I look forward to working with President Xi and Premier Li.”

On Sunday, Modi will meet with CEOs of top Chinese companies.

Modi encouraged Chinese companies to embrace opportunities in India in manufacturing, processing and infrastructure, announcing "now India is ready for business" with an improved regulatory environment.

"You are the 'factory of the world' whereas we are the 'back office of the world'," Modi said.