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India, China sign deals worth $3.4 bn

Indian and Chinese officials signed business deals worth $ 3.43 billion here on Wednesday.

An agreement worth $ 2.2 billion was signed between IndiGo Airlines and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) for leasing and financing 30 aircraft. This pact was under the aegis of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. IndiGo Airlines president Aditya Ghosh and Jiang Bo, managing director of ICBC Leasing, inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in this regard.

Reliance Communications’ C S Rao signed two MoUs, worth about $ 150 million each, with Chinese telecommunications firms ZTE and Huawei Technologies Ltd for equipment and expansion of Reliance’s 2G and 3G networks.

“These agreements are an effort by our companies to address the issue of trade deficit. Besides, with our expertise in infrastructure development, China wants to cooperate with India in developing its infrastructure,” said Wang Hejun, economic counsellor, Chinese embassy.

Wang added the Chinese government was in talks with Air India to sign a $ 2-billion agreement to lease and finance aircraft.

China will also develop and upgrade the 640-km railway line between Bangalore and Mysore (through Chennai).

In the financial services sector, state-owned Bank of China is expected to open a bank branch in Mumbai. Besides, China also plans to offer credit lines worth billions of dollars, through EXIM Bank of India.

These investment plans were firmed up during commerce & industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s recent visit to Beijing in June. During her visit, she had held extensive discussions with her Chinese counterpart, Gao Hucheng, to address the soaring trade deficit between the two countries.

For 2013-14, the trade deficit between India and China was $ 36.2 billion, in China’s favour. While India exported goods worth $ 14.8 billion, its imports stood at $ 51 billion.

India and China have also set up a services trade promotion group for greater market access and job opportunities for professionals in both countries, through a relaxed visa regime.

On Wednesday, several other MoUs were signed in sectors such as wind energy, seafood, chemicals, cotton and pharmaceuticals with leading Chinese companies such as China Meheco Ltd, Chinatex Cotton, China Silk Corporation and Chinalight Resources and Mingyang Wind Power.

India-China buy buy:

* Indigo Airlines signs $ 2.2-bn leasing and financing MoU with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

* China in talks with Air India to sign a deal worth $ 2 bn

* China to develop existing rail line between Bangalore and Mysore

* Bank of China to open branch in Mumbai

* EXIM Bank of China to offer credit line of $ 1 bn soon

* India and China announce setting up of services trade promotion group for professionals

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