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  • Chinese companies in India’s financial hub of Mumbai are gradually coming together to form what will be an Association of Chinese Companies. Similar to New Delhi’s Chindia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which represents over 110 Chinese firms in India, the association will lobby for common rights within India, will cooperate with Indian associations and will share best practices honed from across sectors, over years. Reflecting the Indian Association in Shanghai, a group of like minded individuals and companies who gather for business and social events, in China’s financial capital, the Chinese associations are only open to membership by Chinese companies.

    In developing economies where freight is fraught and torrid trade disputes stretch on tirelessly, it becomes important for companies from one nation to club together to understand their host nation better and gain a sense of brotherhood in an alien land. While our bilateral trade might be Inchin towards the US$100 billion mark sooner than expected, there is yet so much we need to understand about each other. Our governments might shake hands in the capital and yet point the barrel of a gun on our borders. Our markets are keen to explode into each other, take advantage of our synergies and make the most of our billion plus populations, yet creating a body of commonness is key.

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  • china-indiaAfter concrete conversations and pristine promises to open markets further to each other during Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to New Delhi and Mumbai last week, India and China this week landed on softer territory with cultural exchanges, a meeting of the minds and philosophical ponderings. The two nations will jointly hold a conference entitled From Tagore to Mo Yan: The Universality of the One at Tongji University in Shanghai.

    Presided over by Padma Bhushan Tan Chung, the defacto authority on Sino-Indian Culture, and disciple of Rabindranath Tagore, who influenced 20th century China, the two day conference will discuss the arts, literature and changing thought processes of the East. Highlighting the Oriental civilization,  participants will speak on the Wests views on Asia, Chinese Culture going global and the relevance of Tagore today. Drawing parallels between Tagore and Mo Yan’s literature and subsequent impact, the conference will throw light on the relation between the two countries – classics and literature.

    Building on softer relations between China and India, the two nations have come a long way – from Yoga and Tai Chi to bollywood in China and Chinese cuisine flourishing in India. Further aroused by the Indian hospitality industry aggressively entering the Chinese tourism space, language and culture exchanges have enlarged. Although there are five time more Indians travelling to China than Chinese in India, the number of flights and passengers has see a steady upward curve in the past few years. The Indians have always been curious of their neighbours behind the bamboo curtain and of late an increasing number of Chinese too have a piqued interest in their southern soulmates. Nobody can deny the innate connections between our two peoples, and thats exactly what both governments are pinning their hopes on too. A better understanding between Indians and Chinese will not only lead to greater business ties and add value for both countries but will also elevate Asia and the bilateral nexus we share.

    Lets strengthen our soft issues to avoid a hard landing.

  • One third of the worlds populations, almost a half of global trade, sweet and sour neighbours, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s three day visit to India was a statement to the world. High on symbolism – India being his first foreign country to visit after becoming Premier, signing eight Memorandums of Understanding and carrying a charismatic air of brotherhood, Premier Li, wooed India at a time when border tensions between the two had once again been raised.

    Quelling apprehensions, he spoke of friendship, of a centuries old bond between our countries, of collaborations and potential trade  tie-ups. In New Delhi, the Premier and his 100 member entourage met with his Indian counterpart Dr. Manmohan Singh. They also met ministers within the External Affairs and Trade and Commerce Ministries. Additionally, Premier Li met captains of industry, corporate czars and Chinese businessmen in India. Having spent two days in the capital, he also visited India’s financial capital Mumbai, where he met Dr. Kotnis’s sister and held an engaging discourse with businessmen and the media.

    Charmed by the Tata group which is setting up five hotels in China under the Taj brand, Premier Li, spoke to elevating India-China ties to boost collaboration between our people. Enthused to eliminate the ballooning trade deficit in India’s favour – now over US$29 billion, Premier Li, suggested opening our markets to each other, leading to greater investments and M&A collaborations. By jointly creating wealth and symbiotically supporting each other, both nations agreed that we could look towards a brighter Asian Century.

    Pin pointing hard sectors such as power, telecom and infrastructure where China can clearly aid India, the two nations also came to the conclusion that softer skills were also scalable. While MOU’s were signed for water treaties, agriculture, processed and marine foods, as well as urban development in sewage and water treatment, the neighbours also agreed that collaborations in the tourism sector, cinema and ancient arts such as Yoga and Tai Chi could also be developed.

    Having made the first move for his handshake over the Himalayas’ Premier Li has made a clear sign that the new Chinese government is looking for friendlier ties across the border. Its now upto India to reciprocate and and make her ancient slogan of  atithi devo bhava come true.

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