Prime Minister Narendra Modi is looking to clinch $10 billion worth of deals, a leading English daily of China reported on Thursday.
“The two countries are likely to sign deals worth $10 billion during Modi’s first visit as prime minister that will also take him to Beijing and Shanghai as he attempts to attract investments for Indian manufacturing and infrastructure,” the Global Times said.
Modi arrived in Xian, capital of China’s Shaanxi province, on Thursday morning on the first leg of his three-nation tour that will also take him to Mongolia and South Korea.
He is scheduled to hold a summit meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday in Xian.
Jiang Jingkui, director of the Department of South Asian Languages at Peking University, told the Global Times that it was a rare practice for a Chinese leader to receive a foreign leader outside the capital city Beijing.
“It has been less than a year since Xi’s maiden visit to India in September, when he went to Modi’s hometown (of Ahmedabad) in Gujarat. This makes Xi’s invitation to Modi to visit Xian a reciprocal gesture of goodwill,” Jiang was quoted as saying.
The report, citing observers, said the two countries’ differences can be overcome by the increasing economic exchanges which have drawn the two emerging Asian economies closer than ever.
India has also signed up as a founding member of the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
Though China is India’s biggest trading partner with bilateral trade of $70 billion, India’s trade deficit with China rose to $37.8 billion last year.
Modi is expected to bridge this gap during his three-day China visit by tapping into the potential of the Chinese market, the report said.