India, China sign 12 pacts – highlights

InCh AgreementSignalling an upswing in relations between the Asian giants, India and China signed 12 pacts in New Delhi September 18,  including an agreement that will allow them to jointly set up two industrial parks in India. China has also pledged 20 billion USD as investments in India over the next five years.

Here are the highlights of the dozen agreements signed on September 28:

  • Memorandum of Understanding on Opening a New Route for Indian Pilgrimage (Kailash Mansarovar Yatra) to the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China: The MoU provides for pilgrims conducting the annual Kailash Manasarovar Yatra an alternative route through Nathula Pass in Sikkim. The existing route through Lipulekh Pass in Uttarakhand is time consuming and extremely gruelling.
  • Memorandum of Understanding on strengthening cooperation in Railways: Two sides have agreed to enhance cooperation in the railway sector in areas including speed-raising, studying feasibility of cooperation in high-Speed Railways, heavy-haul transportation training of Indian Railway personnel, redevelopment of Railway stations, and setting up of a Railway University in India, among others.
  • Action Plan to strengthen cooperation in Railways: Specific projects for cooperation in railway sector have been identified.
  • Five year Trade and Economic Development Plan: The agreement details a roadmap for the reduction of bilateral trade imbalance between India and China; strengthen investment cooperation to realize US$ 20 billion investment from China in 5 years; a transparent, stable and investor friendly business environment; and enhanced cooperation between Chambers of Commerce and financial sectors.
  • Agreed Minutes of the Tenth Session of India-China Joint Economic Group: Discussion were held in early September on a host of issues to promote broad and deep bilateral trade and economic cooperation between India and China
  • Agreement on Audio-Visual Co-production: This agreement helps producers to get an opportunity to collaborate their creative, artistic, technical, financial and marketing resources to co-produce films. This is expected to boost cultural exchange and understanding.
  • Agreement on mutual administrative assistance and co-operation in Customs matters:  India and China have agreed to enhance their joint efforts to tackle trans-border economic crimes and custom offences through sharing of information. This will also allow for increased cooperation among the customs to enhance bilateral trade.
  • Memorandum of Understanding between Indian Space Research Organisation and China National Space Administration on Cooperation in the Peaceful use of Space: The two countries have agreed to cooperate in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes. They will look for possibilities to jointly work on the development and research of scientific experiment satellites, remote sensing satellites and communications satellites.
  • Memorandum of Understanding on Strengthening the Exchange and Cooperation between Cultural Institutions: This agreement aims to foster long term engagement between cultural institutions of the two countries, including museums, archaeological organizations and performing art centers.
  • Memorandum of Understanding to allow China to participate in the New Delhi World Book Fair 2016 as the Guest of Honour Country. 
  • Agreement on establishing Sister City relationship between Mumbai and Shanghai: This allows the two commercial hubs to enhance people-to-people contact.
  • Work Plan on Drug Administration and Cooperation: India and China will joint work on drug standards, drug testing and exchange knowledge of their traditional medicines.

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