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Gujarat, Guangdong look to strengthen trade relations 

Business Standard , Jun 08, 2019

With Gujarat contributing eight per cent to India's GDP with five per cent of its population and Chinese province Guangdong's share of 10 per cent of the country's GDP with five per cent population, both the business-strong states could grow together manifold.

This was the common sentiment expressed by delegates from Gujarat and Guangdong, which have a sister states agreement, at the China-India-Gujarat Economic and Trade Cooperation Conference inaugurated by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani here on Friday.

The day-long conference was jointly organized by China's Guangdong Province Department of Commerce, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)'s Gujarat Council and state Industrial Extension Bureau (INDEXTb).

Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said while China and India were playing a vital role in the global economic order, Gujarat performed a special part in it.

He said there was need to chart out the future for development between the two countries, with both together sharing one-third of the world's population and both have abundant youth power.

Rupani recalled Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to India and Gujarat at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014 and said this launched a new chapter of cooperation between the two nations.

Subsequent visits of Gujarat and China's high-level delegations to each other's countries in 2016 and 2018 before the biennial Gujarat Global Vibrant Summits further strengthened the relations between the two provinces in business, trade, educational and cultural fields.

He added the agreement between Gujarat and Guangdong as sister states opened doors of more cooperation. With 5 per cent of India's population and six per cent of area, Gujarat contributed eight per cent of India's GDP and 22 per cent of exports.

"The state has 48 ports, 17 airports, 19 SEZs, 8 SIRs, over 200 industrial estates. It has the best infrastructure as it has become an auto manufacturing hub. Several leading industrial houses have set up plants, started business and made Gujarat their second home," Rupani said.

Communist Party of China (CPC) Politburo Central Committee Member and Guangdong Party Secretary Li Xi said he was keen to take the cooperation between the two provinces to new horizons, besides successful implementation of several MoUs between them.

FICCI Gujarat State Council Chairman Deepak Mehta pointed out that although Guangdong had 5 per cent of China's population, it contributed 10 per cent to the country's GDP and reminded India's business relations with China through the Silk Route was 500 years old.

Giving a call for Way To Gujarat (WTG), Mehta stressed on need-based production and said electrical and electronic goods, medical, chemical and food-processing comprise the major commodities between the two nations. He exuded confidence that Indo-China trade would touch $ 200 billion in two years.

Guangdong Province Department of Commerce Deputy Director-General Ma Hua presided over the programme.