Beijing: Ahead of the Sino-India Strategic Economic Dialogue to be held in New Delhi next week, China has promised to encourage its firms to invest in Indian infrastructure projects and to expand "mutually beneficial cooperation".
Stepping up cooperation in the infrastructure projects had figured during yesterday's meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of ASEAN meeting in Phnom Penh, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters here Tuesday.
Hua quoted Wen as telling Singh that "the Chinese government will continue to encourage reputable Chinese enterprises to invest in Indian projects".
Also, the second Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED), to be held on November 26 between Vice Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahaluwalia and Chairman of China's National Development Reform Commission (NDRC), would focus on stepping up cooperation in a variety of economic and development projects, Hua said.
"Representatives from government agencies, enterprises, financial and research institutions will be present at the dialogue and carry out discussions and exchanges on stepping up multi-tiered and multi-type cooperation in economic fields", she said.
The talks would focus on "stepping up communication and coordination of macro economic policies, deepening and expanding mutually beneficial cooperation in investment, infrastructure, high technology and energy conservation and environmental protection," she added.
"The dialogue is an important consensus reached between Wen and Singh in December, 2010. The purpose of the dialogue is to step up coordination on macro economic policies, enhance exchanges and interaction and jointly tackling economic problems in the course of economic development", she said.
The first SED was held here in September last year.
Since then both sides have conducted a series of high level group discussions on a number of projects including large scale Chinese participation in Indian infrastructure projects.
The projects China apparently was looking to invest included the high speed railway network.
Direct Chinese investment in India is stated to less than a billion dollars but the projects undertaken by the Chinese firms in India was stated to be to the tune of USD 55 billion.
Direct Chinese investments were regarded important as Beijing, besides promising to open its IT and Pharmaceutical sectors to Indian business to offset ballooning trade deficit, which crossed over USD 23 billion in the ten months during this year, offered to encourage its firms to invest more in India specially in infrastructure to offset the trade balance to an extent.
Bilateral trade has declined to USD 55.6 billion in the ten months during this year, registering a 8.1 percent slump rising question marks over the 2015 target of USD 100 billion.
Hua said during yesterday's meeting with Singh, Wen stressed on providing policy and social environment for mutual investments while offering to enhance trade by opening up to each other markets to achieve a win-win outcome.
Asked about the resumption of border talks and the visit of National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon, Hua said the Special Representatives mechanism to discuss the issue has helped to reach consensus on the guiding principles to resolve the vexed problem.
"Since 2003 through the meeting mechanism of special representative on the border the two countries had dialogue and border issue. The two countries reached consensus on the guiding principles of solving the border issue laying the important foundation for the resolution of the issue", she said.
"About the next meeting we will release the information in due course", she said.