Beijing: Ahead of his three-day visit starting Tuesday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has welcomed Chinese investment and the proposal to establish a Chinese Industrial Park in India to boost bilateral trade ties.
In a written interview with Chinese media based in Delhi, Singh said India faces an unsustainable imbalance in its trade with China and one of the ways of overcoming the trade deficit is for India to attract larger flows of foreign direct investment (FDI) from China.
"We are happy that more Chinese firms are looking to India as an investment destination. During his visit to India in May 2013, Premier Li Keqiang suggested that we look at the option of establishing a Chinese Industrial Park in India where companies and firms from China could cluster together. We welcome this idea," state-run Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.
Singh noted that recently a Chinese delegation visited India and had good discussions with concerned officials.
"We have also shown them few possible sites for a Chinese Industrial Park. We will work with the Chinese side in implementing the idea," said the prime minister.
The bilateral trade last year declined to about USD 66 billion from a high of USD 74 billion in 2011. The burgeoning trade deficit has touched almost USD 30 billion amid declining Indian exports of raw materials like iron ore to China.
On China's proposal to promote the construction of Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) Economic Corridor, Singh said India is promoting regional connectivity for balanced economic and infrastructure development and accelerating integration with its neighbors, including with Southeast Asia.
"We believe that the BCIM Economic Corridor can potentially reinforce our existing connectivity initiatives and we have expressed our support in principle to the idea during Premier Li Keqiang's visit to India," he said.
He noted that to take the idea forward, India and China need to first get the support of Bangladesh and Myanmar and together study the various practical elements of such a corridor, its alignment, funding, responsibility of member countries, economic potential as well as soft infrastructure requirement.
"Following our agreement during Premier Li's visit to set up a Joint Study Group (JSG) of all four countries, we have set up the Indian component of this JSG. India will participate with great enthusiasm in its deliberations," he said.