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.
The two 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 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 per cent in 2015-16 compared to 7.2 per cent in the previous year,” he 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 $2-3 billion for AIIB funding in the areas of urban development (including Smart Cities), energy, urban transport, railways, inland waterways and water supply.”
Jaitley 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.
Earlier in the day, in an interview to China’s English language television channel CCTV, Jaitley said: “We (India) grew by 7.6 per cent last year, we’ll certainly maintain that and with a good monsoon, hopefully improve upon that. It (growth rate) is sustainable for the reason that India still has lot of distance in terms of economic growth to cover.”
He said that India has been the second largest partner in China-led AIIB and these parallel institutions are developing because of the need of infrastructure finance.
“I think it is inevitable that irrespective of the theme of the conference, this issue (infrastructure finance) will dominate all economic discussions,” he said.
Jaitley on Sunday will attend the annual meeting of the board of governors’ of AIIB that was scheduled for June 24-25.
On June 27, he will hold a ministerial level financial dialogue with Jiwei.
Jaitley arrived in Beijing on June 23 on a five-day official tour.