NEW DELHI: The Consulate General of India in Shanghai recently organized a large scale India-China Business and Investment Forum (ICBIF) focusing on promoting investments from leading Chinese companies in India in sectors like Infrastructure, Urban Transportation, Railways, Renewable Energy, Smart Cities and Power Generation.

The event last week was attended by an audience consisting of nearly 200 Chinese companies, select Indian companies, members of media along with distinguished representatives from governments and business fraternities of both sides.

In a unique show of making a strong sales pitch for the Make in India initiative four CEOs of leading Chinese companies made presentations at the event to potential Chinese investors on the advantages of the Make in India campaign. These included Nan Cunhui, Chairman, Chint Group (into renewable energies and solar panels), Weimin Yao, Senior Vice President, Huawei (set up the Bangalore R & D Center for Huawei), Shen Jianfang, Chairman, Highly Electric (has a production facility in Ahemadabad for air compressors with 40% of the Indian market share) and Yang Qi, GM, CRRC Puzhen, Nanjing (providing metro/rail coaches to several Metro Projects in India).

Each of them drew upon their longstanding experience of operating in India and urged potential Chinese investors to look at investing in the Indian market aggressively. They cited the changed business environment, ease of doing business, cost of hiring labour and the volumes of project opportunities as the key advantages that India offered to Chinese investors. Some of the key issues raised by them as advice for potential Chinese investors in India, included (i) adopting long term strategy for the Indian market (ii) localization with employment of more Indian workers (iii) compliance with local laws (iv) gainful investment in R&D (v) availability of land and adequate supportive infrastructure (vi) tax structure including concern over complexity of the tax regime.

From the Shanghai Municipal Government, Zhou Taitong, Vice Chairman of the Shanghai CPPCC highlighted the important role of Prime Minister Modi in changing the business environment in India and called upon Chinese companies from Shanghai and the Eastern China Region to take full advantage of the opportunities available in India presently. In addition, Chairman of Shanghai CCPIT Yang Jianrong added that given the overall direction of India-China bilateral ties, investments from Chinese companies in India were likely to go up exponentially. He also called upon Chinese companies and provincial leaderships to actively participate in the upcoming Make in India Week to be held in Mumbai from 13 – 18 February.

President of the New Development Bank (NDB), K.V. Kamath who was the Key Note Speaker offered the NDB perspective and underscored that India and China as two of the leading developing country partners from the BRICS context, could change the narrative of South-South Cooperation through their partnership. He underscored that given the pace of India’s rapid modernization there were several aspects where India could learn from where China’s transformative experience which had lifted millions out of poverty successfully.

Chinese Provincial leaders from Zhejiang and Jiangsu (who also attended today’s event) are likely to lead business delegation to attend the Make in India Week to be organized in Mumbai from February 13-18.

BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma said that they had a meeting with AGP leaders and is discussing the possibility of tie up.