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High-powered Indian group seeks business

THE fast-growing trade relationship between China and India will get a boost when a high-powered Indian trade delegation launches a business forum in Shanghai tomorrow.

About 350 senior representatives from Chinese and Indian companies are expected to attend the half-day India Business Forum at the Sheraton Shanghai Hongqiao Hotel.

Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Jyotiraditya M. Scindia is leading a delegation of representatives from more than 70 Indian companies.

Scindia is also the guest of honor at today's India National Day celebrations at the India Pavilion at the World Expo Shanghai.

Supported by India's four major business organizations, the business delegation is also headed by Balasubramanian Muthuraman, vice chairman of India's largest steel manufacturer, Tata Steel. He is also vice president of the Confederation of Indian Industry.

Along with the confederation, representatives from the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) will attend the event.

The key business body for the Indian software industry, the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), will also have a strong presence at the forum.

Indian Consul General in Shanghai, Riva Ganguly Das, says the forum aims to broaden the range of goods and services India exports to China beyond the traditional commodities of metals and ores, organic chemicals and textiles.

The delegation has a number of senior representatives from some of India's strongest globally performing industries such as pharmaceuticals, information technology, agriculture and agri-business, food processing and machinery.

Last year trade between the two countries was worth US$43 billion and has grown by more than 50 percent in the first quarter of this year, compared to the same time period in the previous year.

Both countries are in a position to reach their stated trade target of US$60 billion by the end of this year.

"The very fact that all four chambers are combining their efforts and coming to the Expo during this event and the national day shows the tremendous interest the top Indian business community has in China," Ganguly Das says.

Along with growing exports, business leaders will also be looking to build on potential bilateral investment opportunities.

Ganguly Das says India is looking at the potential for involvement from Chinese companies in infrastructure projects, particularly in the country's road network. Indian companies are also looking to locate plants and manufacturing in China.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries, and bilateral trade has been in the spotlight, with this the second high-profile business delegation to visit Shanghai this year.

Trade was also the focus of the Indian President Pratibha Patil's recent visit to Shanghai where she attended an India-China Business Forum. A large number of Indian and Chinese companies participated in the event.


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