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India Calls for More Chinese Investment

Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari, right, and Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao attend a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Monday, June 30, 2014.

India's Trade Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, held a meeting with Chinese counterpart Gao Hucheng in a bid to raise trade gap issue with China, during which she pitched for bigger investments like industrial parks.

Sitharaman underlined her government's intent to create a more open investment environment for foreign firms from China and elsewhere, starting with a landmark agreement to set up at least four Chinese industrial parks in India.

The Trade Minister said India will create a more open investment environment for foreign firms, not just in manufacturing but in many sectors where the Chinese have greater advantage. Four such parks are being considered.

Sitharaman is accompanying Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari to Beijing on a five-day trip to boost bilateral ties and participate in a trilateral summit.

India runs a $40 billion bilateral trade deficit with China and new Indian PM Narendra Modi is expected to seek greater market access to reduce that gap. China's own embrace of an export-led model has helped its economy outgrow India's fourfold since 1980.

Ansari met Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on June 28, the third day of his ongoing trip to China, and called for building convergence and minimizing differences.

He also visited the Great Mosque of Xian and the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda on his first bilateral visit to the neighboring country.

In 1954, China, India and Myanmar initiated the five principles or the Panchsheel agreement, which stand for mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit and peaceful coexistence.

This is the first visit of an Indian leader to China since Modi assumed office last month. It is also Ansari's first visit to China and the first by an Indian Vice President since 1994.