Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as a part of his Act East Policy, visited China, Mongolia and South Korea. Modi’s tri-national visit has an important role to play in India’s future especially his visit to China.
China, as of 2014, ranks second in GDP (nominal), right after the USA, while India is ranked at the ninth spot, according to the World Economic Outlook Database released by the IMF earlier this year. Despite territorial disputes with the North-Eastern neighbour, joining hands with China can help the Indian economy grow.
Out of those signed by Prime Minister Modi with his Chinese counterpart, some agreements stand out as extremely important and others supportive. The good news for students and intellectuals includes establishing a Mahatma Gandhi National Institute for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship in Gujarat; cooperation in the fields of macroeconomics and policy issues, vocational education, skill development, geoscience, space and ocean sciences; Education Exchange Programmes (EEP) and educational scholarships; establishing collaborative think tanks; establishment of a collaborative Center for Gandhian and Indian Studies; and establishment of a Yoga College in Kunming, China.
Moreover, a new Chinese Consulate General is to be established in Chennai while the Indian Consulate General will be in Chengdu. This will mean faster visa processing for applicants from both nations. Exchange and co-production of TV programmes; sister city relations between Hyderabad & Qingdao as well as Aurangabad & Dunhuang; and better cooperation in the tourism sector promise a better cultural understanding between the two nations. With better understanding, comes better tourism.
The cooperative development of Indian Railways infrastructure and training will mean a more comfortable, fast and efficient transport and also well trained staffs. A protocol to govern health and safety standards for the Indian exports of rapeseed meal to China is soon to be put into place as well.
From China Modi headed to Mongolia, which was a very significant visit as this was the first time ever an Indian Prime Minister visited to the North Asian Republic. The two Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Chimed Saikhanbileg agreed to encourage development of equal and mutually beneficial trade, investment and economic cooperation, which is balanced, sustainable, and leads to prosperity in both countries. There were also 14 bilateral agreements signed between the two countries in areas such as policing and surveillance, air services, cyber security, renewable energy and civil nuclear regimes, with New Delhi gifting Ulan Bator with an indigenous cancer treatment machine.
Though a small country by size, South Korea, one of the four Asian Tigers, holds in store a lot for India too. India’s agreements with South Korea are also interesting. Steps to reduce fiscal evasion; Indian and Korean film industrial collaboration; collaboration of National Security Council structures of the two countries; cooperative Electric Power Development and New Energy Industries; youth empowerment through exchanges, international conferences, seminars, youth camps, festivals etc.; road transport system development; and collaboration in the fields of maritime transport and logistics are the agreements with South Korea.
Apart from the government and secretary level meetings Prime Minister Modi also had meetings with CEOs and heads of several top companies like Alibaba, Hyundai, Samsung, POSCO, Xiaomi, Harbin Electric, Dalian City to name a few. Jack Ma of Alibaba said, “We are excited about India. We are excited about Make in India and Digital India.”