Keynote speech at ICEC Forum delivered by H.E.ZhengXiyuan
(1st July, 2015)

Shri. Deo-Dhar, President of ICEC Council

Mr. Wang Xudong, president of Guangzhou Committee, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade,

Shri. Monga, Development Commissioner of SEEPZ-SEZ, Government of Maharashtra,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning!!!

It's my great pleasure to attend this forum by ICEC for the first time. Today I'd like to take this opportunity to share with you some growing trends in Sino-Indian relations, especially the economic cooperation in the coming years.

Firstly, I have noticed that the mutual-trust between our two countries is increasingly building up.

As two ancient civilizations in the world China and India are not only linked by mountains and rivers, but by culture and history. Although we have different political and social systems, disputed border issues, it is firmly believed that these problems could be well controlled and would not pose big impacts on the overall development of Sino-Indian relations. Now there are several different dialogue mechanisms regarding different fields at different levels between our two countries.

Last September, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited India. Six weeks ago, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in turn, paid a visit to China. Two weeks ago, Zhang Dejiang, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China visted Mumbai and New Delhi. These regular and frequent high level visits indicate that both sides have attached more importance to this bilateral relations.

Meanwhile local-government exchanges and cooperation between Maharashtra and different provinces of China have kept strong and sound momentum. Last year, Shanghai and Mumbai set up sister city relations, and this year, Aurangabad and Dunhuan, both famous for their delicate cave arts, have also established this kind of relations. Last May, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, H.E. Fadenaves visited some provinces, coming back with many solid projects of cooperation. In the upcoming September, two Governors from Guangdong and Gansu province are about to visit Mumbai respectively. I believe this trend of government exchanges at different levels could be kept on.

A few days ago, China opened the Nathu-La Pass in Sikkim to Mount Kailash (In China, We call Gang Rinpoche) and Lake Manas Sarovar (in China, we call Mapam Yumtso) to Indian pilgrims. Now they could cross the border by bus without the ordeal of trekking and traveling on horse backs. This new route is much safer, much shorter, and more convenient. It could shorten the pilgrimage time from more than 20 days to about 8 days. In order to witness this historic moment, Chinese Ambassador to India Le Yucheng, left New Delhi for the Nathu-La Pass about 10 days ago. And tonight I will greet him in Sivaji international Airport after his trip there. Of course I would share his feelings and ideas about this new development, and could not help waiting for drinking a drop of holy water taken by him from the Lake Manas Sarovar.

Secondly, I'd like to say some words about the investing environment for Chinese enterprises in Maharashtra.

Being a commercial and financial hub in India, Maharashtra is always the most attractive destination for foreign investors. So far there have been 33 Chinese companies in Maharashtra, including heavy industry, banking service, IT, transportation, air service, steel, and so on. The aggregate number of investment is more than 1 billion US Dollars. Their existence strongly promotes the bilateral trade and economic cooperation between two countries.

Dear friends, 33 is not a big figure if compared with the scale of China's economy. However, I would tell another story which some of you might not know very well. In the year 2007, when Japanese Premier Abe visited India, there existed only about 100 Japanese Companies in India. Some Indian journalists asked his adviser, how many Japanese Companies would be in India in 10 years? The Gentleman replied, maybe 400-500 Companies. Now, after eight years only, there are already more than 2,000 Japanese Companies here in India. I firmly believe the same story is going to happen to Chinese Companies as well.

Last month, I met with some financial leaders from Shanghai. One of them told me that, he was very much surprised to see there are so many business opportunities now in Mumbai, just like some years ago in Shanhai. Without any doubt, Shanghai story is also going repeat here in Mumbai.

Thirdly, about "One Belt One Road" and "Make in India" .

The initiatives of "One Belt One Road" and "Make in India", launched by China and India respectively , are well known to the world. As part of "One Belt One Road", the concept of international production cooperation is raised and aimed at strengthening the industrial cooperation with the countries along the Silk Road. Under the incentives of the initiative, more and more Chinese companies at present have strong intention to invest overseas. On the other hand, some industries of manufacturing sector in China are under pressure of high rising labor and other costs, they are seeking for new investment destinations for their products.

As a vital country along the Silk Road, India is gradually becoming one of most attractive investing destinations for Chinese companies, while the measures conducive to foreign investors are taken by Indian government. As long as India gradually improves its services in favor of Chinese investors, such like fast license approval, fast working permit and business visa, the Chinese investors will definitely contribute a lot to "Make in India" and "Make in Maharashtra". On the other hand, My colleagues and I would always be ready to bridge cooperation between two sides, and welcome all of you to our Consulate.

Finally, I would say the forum today is a very meaningful and successful. I hope this kind of forums could be held more often in Mumbai. By the way, next week, Alibaba also will host such event in Marriott Hotel near Airport. Hereby I'd like to extend deep appreciation to Mr. Deodhar and Mr. Wang Xudong, for your continued support to the development of Sino-Indian relations and for your well organized work!

Thank you All!

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