NEW DELHI: China is not in India’s good books currently, having blocked the latter’s moves at the UN against terror and its nuclear membership. But business is business. NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya has stressed that bilateral economic engagement is independent of political issues.
China has surplus funds to invest. India needs money to expand infra projects. Hence India’s premier policy think tank NITI Aayog thinks politics and economics should not be mixed while dealing with the duplicitous dragon.
During the fourth Indo-China economic strategic meeting hosted by NITI Aayog, Beijing has shown a keen interest to match or even go beyond Japan in becoming India’s top partner in urban planning.
Arvind Panagariya’s stand to separate investment and politics contrasts with the boycott call of Chinese goods, especially during the ongoing festival season. China is attempting to boost its economic clout in South Asia. In January, it decided to give a `1,400 crore soft loan to Nepal to reconstruct its quake hit airport. In September, it gave Pakistan $8 billion for a highway project.
“China has shared its keenness to mobilise funds on the lines of JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) to fund and execute semi-high speed and high speed rail projects in India. Beijing has also proposed that it will be taking up redevelopment of Bhubaneswar and Bengaluru railway stations on priority,” said a senior NITI Aayog official.
Panagariya said that as India woos foreign investment, China has promised to invest its surplus funds in India’s urban development. Sharing the outcome of the deliberations in the Sino-Indian joint working groups, Panagariya said: “The cost advantage of producing quality goods in China is going down sharply. The four coastal manufacturing zones in China are experiencing saturation. This has dented the export competitiveness of China.”
India and China will form five sub-working groups on policy coordination, infrastructure, sophisticated technology, resource conservation and environmental protection and energy. Ministries will engage in talks with their Chinese counterparts.