Modi and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping at BRICS Summit in Xiamen. Photo: Twitter (@MEAIndia)
The upcoming informal meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will help improve bilateral economic ties and bring more Chinese investments in India over the next two years, a Chinese diplomat said here on Wednesday.
"This (the meeting) is something very significant and it signifies a new era for China-India relationship...It will also help in developing economic ties between the two countries," Chinese Consul General in Kolkata Ma Zhanwu said.
He also emphasised on the principle of "acting together" for improving the bilateral relationship between two Asian giants.
Modi will travel to China's central city of Wuhan this week for an informal summit with Xi.
Referring to Chinese foreign policy, Ma said: "The policy stated that we must have a good relationship with major powers and neighbouring countries. India is both a major power and a neighbouring country of China. So the relationship between two countries is even more important."
He said that the growth of Chinese investments to India has been steady but was affected in 2017 due to "Doklam stand-off".
"Chinese investments to India had grown by 700 per cent in 2016 over the previous year but the (Chinese) investments to India in the last year grew by 20 per cent due to Dokalam stand-off," he said at an interactive session organised by Merchants' Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Kolkata.
"The meeting will boost the investment in next two years, mainly in 2019 and 2020 as such meeting cannot boost investment overnight," he said.
On India's trade deficit with his country, Zhanwu said the increase in India's exports to China will narrow it down.
"It (India's trade deficit with China) will not last long. India has so many things to offer to China. Many Chinese come to India for medical treatment and anti-cancer drugs are also imported to China. Starting from May, there will be a kind of zero duty on importing such drugs," he said.