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The curious case of $100 bn

While India revelled at the fact that the Chinese promised to invest $ 20 billion in five years, everyone was left wondering what happened to the missing $ 80 billion.

Apparently, ahead of the visit, Chinese embassy officials briefed Indian scholars that investment promised would be $ 100 billion. How this figure came down to $ 20 billion is a mystery, these scholars confessed.

According to official sources, China promised to invest $ 20 billion in a span of five years. Besides, it signed several memoranda of understanding worth billions of dollars.

Additionally, how much China will be investing in the industrial parks that are going to come up in Gujarat and Maharashtra on 1,250 acres each, is also unclear.

Putting together all these, the amount is coming to $ 50-$ 60 billion, sources said.

“The $ 100 billion investment figure was never committed by China officially. Somebody made the story somewhere and everyone followed,” said a Chinese embassy official on condition of anonymity.

The $ 20 billion that was committed was not announced in a big bang way but through a memorandum of understanding – Five Year Trade and Economic Development Plan between the ministry of commerce and industry of India and China’s ministry of commerce.

Interestingly, although the three-day visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping was touted as a business trip, a joint business forum under Confederation of Indian Industry, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Assocham was not organised. Not a single event of Xi’s interaction with the Indian industry took place this time.

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