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India and China to explore cooperation in road building

New Delhi, Sep 16 (Calcutta Tube) India and China have agreed to explore the feasibility of mutual cooperation and financial investment in the road building sector, said an official release Thursday.

‘The agreement to work towards signing a memorandum of understanding between the two countries was reached in a meeting between Road Transport and Highways Minister Kamal Nath and his Chinese counterpart Li Shenglin at Beijing,’ the release said.

Currently leading a high level business delegation of Indian companies to China, Kamal Nath is engaged in wooing Chinese investment to provide impetus to road building activities in India.

In the meeting, he sought to impress upon his Chinese counterpart that India, which aims at building 7,000 km of roads every year for the next few years, provides huge opportunities to the Chinese construction companies and financial institutions to enhance their engagement with India in road building sector, the release added.

China too has made rapid progress in infrastructure sector particularly highway development, the release said, quoting Li that China is presently engaged in building around 35,000 km of national highways of which 10,000 km is likely to be completed this year.

Kamal Nath also met the chiefs of various financial institutions in China, including China Investment Corporation’s (CIC) chairman Lou Jiwei and National Social Security Fund’s (NSSF) chairman Dai Xianglong, the release said.

While CCI is a sovereign wealth fund that manages funds worth $200 billion, NSSF have a total asset base of RMB 776 billion.

The NSSF chief mooted the idea of setting up an India-China Highways Investment Forum for investors, developers and construction companies.

The forum would provide a platform for the policy makers, financial experts and the business leaders to work closely towards enhancing project specific investment flows for mutual benefit, the release quoted Dai as saying.

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