Emerging as a crucial mechanism, facilitating bilateral trade and investment flows, the Strategic Economic Dialogue between India and China that concluded on September 9, very well managed to enhance economic cooperation between the two sides.
Set up between erstwhile Planning Commission and the National Development and Reform Commission, China in December 2010, the SED has since then served as an effective mechanism for enhancing bilateral practical cooperation.
The Dialogue which was held from held from 7-9 September 2019 in New Delhi comprised of round table meetings of Joint Working Groups on infrastructure, energy, high-tech, resource conservation and policy coordination followed by technical site visits and closed door G2G meetings.
Through pragmatic and outcome oriented deliberations of the six working groups, the delegates arrived at following significant mutual agreements.
Policy Co-ordination: The two sides undertook in-depth discussions reviewing trade and investment climates in order to mutually identify complementarities and harness synergies to this effect future engagement. Potential areas of collaboration across innovation and investment focusing on fintech and related technologies were highlighted. The two sides agreed to exchange annual calendar of activities to further activate regular channels of communication.
Working Group on Infrastructure: Both the countries noted the significant progress made in the feasibility study on Chennai-Bangalore-Mysore railway upgradation project and personal training of Indian senior railway management staff in China, both of which have been completed. They held detailed discussions on identifying the next steps in all areas of cooperation as well as on taking forward the study project exploring the possibility of Delhi-Agra high speed railway in the pilot section. They also agreed to identify new projects for cooperation as well as support enterprises to expand cooperation in the transport sector.
Working Group on High-Tech: The duo meanwhile also assessed the achievements made since the 5th SED and exchanged views on regulatory procedures of ease of doing business, development of artificial intelligence, high-tech manufacturing, and next-generation mobile communications of both countries. Discussions were held on technological innovation, industrial situation, and mechanism for further strengthening cooperation as well as on India-China digital partnerships, data governance and related industry policy.
Working Group on Resource Conservation and Environmental Protection: The two sides further discussed and reviewed the progress made in the fields of water management, waste management, construction & demolition waste and resource conservation. They also deliberated on the role of innovation in the sector. Effective utilization of novel concepts in low cost construction technology, methods of flood and erosion control, air pollution etc. was also discussed. In order to promote enhanced cooperation in the above areas, two sides agreed on continued interaction and exchange of relevant information more frequently.
Working Group on Energy: Both countries identified future areas of collaboration and resolved to work on Renewable Energy space, Clean coal technology sector, Smart Grid and Grid integration and Smart meters and E-mobility sectors. Both sides also agreed on cooperation in Research and Development for developing new technology for manufacturing solar cell from alternate material and improvement of efficiency of solar cells. Both sides also agreed on cooperation in the field of e-mobility and energy storage.
Working Group on Pharmaceuticals: Thejoint working groups noted that both sides should further strengthen communication to promote pragmatic cooperation. It was also decided that both sides should promote pragmatic cooperation, strengthen complementary advantages in pharmaceutical industry and explore cooperation for promoting Indian generic drugs and Chinese APIs. This will benefit the development of pharmaceutical industry in both countries.
Both the counterparts however focusing on bilateral practical cooperation, have achieved the concrete outcomes through pragmatic and outcome-oriented deliberations. India and China further ended up agreeing to effectively utilize the SED mechanism as an over-arching and permanent instrument to address outstanding issues and identify potential areas of collaboration that would probably augment bilateral economic and commercial ties between the two sides.