India yesterday told some of the biggest Chinese investment and engineering companies that it was open to greater Chinese involvement in highway projects, even in border areas.
The government further said it was willing to address Chinese concerns over cap on foreign investment under Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) regulations by considering the possibility of negotiating an economic cooperation agreement in future, minister of road transport and highways Kamal Nath told Chinese officials.
Yesterday, Nath engaged officials from some of China's biggest investment firms to encourage them to step up investment in road projects adding that India had no opposition to Chinese involvement in highway projects in the northeast and Jammu & Kashmir, where a Chinese joint venture has been awarded a project by Indian authorities.
India had recently raised the issue of security over Chinese projects in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Nath said that the government of India cleared the project in Jammu and Kashmir from a security point of view. He added that the contract was awarded because Chinese involvement was in terms of investment, project management and technology. As the Chinese were not sending people there to dig roads there was no issue he added.
According to Nath some of the concerns of Chinese firms interested in investing revolved around a 10 per cent cap on investment for publicly-traded companies under SEBI regulations. Since many of China's players in the sector are state run such as the China Investment Corporation (CIC), the state-run sovereign wealth fund and the Social Security Fund (SSF), they would be regarded as under he same ownership.