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Central Indian state opens China trade fair to lure investment

A three-day "Haat of India" China trade fair on Chinese investment was opened in the state capital of the central Indian state Madhya Pradesh here Saturday.

Attending the inauguration were Chinese Ambassador to India Wei Wei, President of India-China Economic and Cultural Council P.S. Devdhar and over 150 representatives of various Chinese industries.

Wei praised the occasion for providing a platform to Chinese industries to invest in Madhya Pradesh, one of the most populous states of India. He said Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have exchanged visits, which have cemented ties between the two Asian neighbors.

"While we pay attention to our border disputes, we must pay more attention to people-to-people contact and improving relations. Land disputes are flagging problems. We must give more attention to economic and cultural relations," he said.

The ambassador said constant efforts are made to resolve border disputes and promote economic cooperation and friendship between the two countries.

According to Wei, bilateral trade between China and India last year was worth 66 billion U.S. dollars.

He urged both countries to expand economic activities and remove trade imbalance between them while emphasizing the need for Indian industrialists to be motivated to do business in China and Chinese industrialists vice versa.

"Our collective population is 2.5 billion, yet we have as much trade with Singapore that has a population of five million," he said.

"Positive atmosphere was vital to increase economic cooperation between the two Asian giants. Since the countries were neighbors, they should continue to promote mutual economic cooperation," said the ambassador.

He said he hoped that a Chinese Industrial Park could be set up in India, including in the state of Madhya Pradesh, which can help create a great number of jobs for local people and develop the rural economy which the state largely relies upon.

"If a Chinese Industrial Park on the lines of Chinese model is set up, Chinese industrialists will be motivated to invest in the country," he added.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Secretary Anthony De Sa said his state was the heartland of India due to which smooth means of transport to and from all parts of India were available.

"With its central location, Madhya Pradesh has immense scope for emerging as logistics hub of the country," he said.

He also said the state claims India's highest farm product growth while being a pioneer state in the production of wheat and rice.

The chief secretary said the state also has adequate water storage and a power-surplus while boasting adequate man power and trained human resources.

The state would welcome Chinese investment and consider establishing a Chinese Industrial Park that would help in improving people's living conditions apart from jobs to youths on a large scale, he added.

[Source: Xinhua, Bhopal, India, 22Dec13]

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