Sibal, Yeddyurappa to visit China despite visa row

Sibal, Yeddyurappa and 50 top Indian businessmen to attend the World Economic Forum meet in China.

Last Updated: Sep 11, 2010, 20:25 PM IST

New Delhi: In a sign that the recent visa row has not affected business ties, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa and 50 top Indian businessmen are heading to the Chinese port city of Tianjin for participating in the World Economic Forum`s summer jamboree.

Straddling two ends of the political spectrum, Sibal, a Congress politician and Yeddyurappa, a BJP leader, will be speaking at the three-day `Annual Meeting of the New Champions` that begins on Monday, a conclave of top businessmen, policymakers and thought-leaders from across the world.

Also called Summer Davos, named after the Swiss resort that hosts the annual meet of the World Economic Forum, the Tianjin meeting has as its theme `Driving Growth through Sustainability`.

Sibal will participate in the first-ever ministerial meeting on innovation and sustainable growth at the `Summer Davos`, organised in partnership with the Chinese ministry of science and technology.

Yeddyurappa will speak at the plenary session on sustaining a shrinking planet and participate in discussions on energy infrastructure in emerging economies and the need for improved water management in Asia.

Sibal`s will be the first ministerial visit from India to China after recent disclosures that Beijing denied visa to a senior Indian Army General on grounds that his command included Jammu and Kashmir, which it considers as "a disputed territory".

Hari S Bhartia, president of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), is leading a 50-strong Indian delegation of industry heavyweights to Tianjin.

"Asia is driving global economic growth. This conference gives an opportunity for all global companies to come and understand the new consumer of Asia, their aspirations and learn about how they could do business here," said Bhartia, who is also managing director, Jubilant Organosys, ahead of his visit.

Despite differences and shadow-boxing over a host of issues, including renewed Chinese assertions over Arunachal Pradesh and the issuing of stapled visas by China to residents of Jammu and Kashmir, bilateral trade has continued to expand and has exceeded $50 billion.

IANS