Indian team in China to discuss investments in Special Economic Zones, industrial parks

BEIJING: A Commerce Ministry delegation arrived here today to explore China's investments in India's Special Economic Zones and to discuss follow up action on agreements signed during last month's visit by President Xi Jinping to boost bilateral trade between the two countries.

The delegation, headed by Additional Secretary Madhusudan Prasad, would hold talks with Chinese officials, attend a business round table and visit a number of successful Chinese Special Economic Zone (SEZ) ventures to get feed back, Indian officials here told PTI.

 Besides Beijing, the delegation would visit Tianjin, Shanghai and Suzhou to scout for more Chinese investments in a host of SEZs in different parts of India.

While the focus of the delegation would be to scout for more Chinese investments in SEZs, the delegation would also interact with Chinese Commerce Ministry officials on the follow up measures being initiated on the agreements signed during Xi's visit to set up two Chinese industrial parks with $ 20 billion investment, they said.

While the two parks, to be located in Gujarat and Maharastra, provided an exclusive framework for Chinese firms, SEZs too offer a wide scope for China to avail variety of benefits.

As per the MoU to set up the parks, signed by the two countries during the visit of Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari in June, the Industrial Parks enjoy the benefits of India's SEZs, as well as National Investment and Manufacturing Zones (NIMZs).

The SEZs offer 100 per cent income tax exemption on export income for the first five years, 50 per cent for the next five years thereafter and 50 per cent of the ploughed back export profit for next five years.

The two countries are also in the process of finalising steps to proceed on the agreement signed during Xi's visit, ensuring Chinese participation in modernisation of Indian railways.

This include a feasibility survey for a one high-speed railway corridor to be conducted by Chinese side at its own cost, technical inputs required to increase speed on the existing railway line from Chennai to Mysore via Bangalore, redevelopment of two railway stations and establishment of a railway university in India.

China will also soon start training of 100 Indian railway officials in heavy haulage. Training will be provided for Indian railway staff in batches of twenty, officials said.

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