...meets Chinese Prez Xi; discusses trade and investment issues
Brasilia: Prime Minister Narendra Modi held in-depth talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping here and the two leaders have agreed to maintain close contact on matters relating to trade and investment to further deepen and add new vigour to India-China relations.
During the meeting held on the margins of the 11th BRICS Summit on Wednesday, prime minister Modi said there was a "new direction and new energy" in bilateral ties after their second informal summit in Chennai last month.
"Held talks with President Xi Jinping. Several subjects pertaining to deepening bilateral cooperation were discussed. Today's discussions will add new vigour to India-China relations," Modi tweeted after the meeting.
"Fruitful meeting between PM Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping on the sidelines on the BRICS Summit in Brazil. Trade and investment were among the key issues both leaders talked about," the Prime Minister's Office said in a separate tweet.
The leaders had forward-looking discussions on various aspects of the multifaceted India-China relationship, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in a tweet.
Prime Minister Modi and President Xi agreed on the importance of maintaining close dialogue on matters relating to trade and investment. The two leaders agreed that the new high level mechanism on trade and economy should meet at an early date, according to a press release issued by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
"I am glad to meet you once again. When I look back, we had met for the first time in Brazil itself... and our journey began. This journey of unknown people has today turned into a close friendship.
"Since then, we have met at many forums, bilaterals; you visited my home state, took me to your village, came to receive me outside Beijing in Wuhan.... It is such a significant thing that within the five years, there have been so much trust and friendly relations," Modi told Xi.
President Xi thanked prime minister Modi for India's substantial participation in the just-concluded China Import Export Expo in Shanghai.
Xi noted that he was told that India was the country with the largest increase in transaction volume at the expo compared with last year.
"China welcomes more exports of India's high-quality products to China," and called on the two countries to expand two-way trade and investment and create new growth points for cooperation in productivity, medicine, information technology, infrastructure and other fields, the official Xinhua news agency quoted Xi as saying.
From India's point of view, the huge trade deficit of $57 billion with China has become a major issue. The issue was discussed during the 2nd informal summit and the two leaders have agreed to set up new mechanism led by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Chinese Vice-Premier Hu Chunhua to discuss trade, investment and services.
Xi invited Modi for the 3rd informal summit in China in 2020. The date and venue for which will be determined through diplomatic channels. The two leaders also exchanged views on multilateral issues including WTO, BRICS and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) at the BRICS Summit held to focus on building mechanisms for counter-terrorism cooperation and strengthen India's ties with the world's five major economies.