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Jaitley meets China’s finance minister

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Beijing: India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley met his Chinese counterpart Lou Jiwei here on Saturday and discussed economic cooperation between the two countries.

The global macroeconomic situation also figured in the meeting in which both the leaders agreed on the need to further coordinate in order to enhance economic growth.

The upcoming G20 Summit in Hangzhou and the BRICS Summit in India were also discussed at the meeting, said an Indian embassy official.

They met on the sidelines of the Annual General Meeting of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). The formal meet is due on Monday.

Jaitley, who is on a five-day visit to China, also met officials of Alibaba ANT enterprises, an affiliate company of the Alibaba Group on Saturday.

Earlier on Saturday, attending the meet of AIIB, Jaitley said: “India has undertaken reforms in FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) and initiated large investments in rural infrastructure, national highway, inland waterways, shipping, power sector and smart cities.”

“Notwithstanding the global headwinds, however, India continues to maintain a high growth rate at 7.6% in 2015-16 compared to 7.2% in the previous year,” Jaitley added.

Speaking on the role of AIIB, he said: “AIIB presents a much needed additional financing window dedicated to infrastructure projects and meeting the financing gap that may be beyond the capacity of the individual countries and the existing MDBs (Multilateral Development Banks).”

“India has a huge unmet demand for investment in infrastructure and is preparing basket of projects worth US$ 2-3 billion for AIIB funding in the areas of Urban Development (including Smart Cities), Energy, Urban Transport, Railways, Inland Waterways and Water Supply.”

The Finance Minister offered India’s support in establishing a Regional Office of AIIB in New Delhi to effectively cater to this potentially large portfolio and speed up the process of project development, monitoring and implementation.

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