India to woo Chinese electrical, electronics firms to set up plants

India is looking to lure Chinese multinationals engaged in electrical and electronic manufacturing and textiles to set up plants in the country by showcasing itself as an attractive investment destination with cheap labour and an improved economic climate.

The invitation to set up bases in India will be extended to Chinese firms at the India-China Strategic Economic Dialogue, scheduled early next month.

Niti Aayog has proposed to rejig the dialogue, first started by the then UPA government in 2010, to reflect the priorities of the NDA government. The focus of the discussions will now be on railways and roads, solar energy, coal gasification, urbanisation, domestic electronic manufacturing and new policy initiatives like coastal employment zones, considering the Narendra Modi dispensation's thrust on developing smart cities and upgrading infrastructure to give a push to economic growth.

"Labour wages are 2-3 times lower in India in comparison to China. We would want Chinese MNCs in areas like electrical and electronics and textiles to migrate to India to take advantage," Niti Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya, who will lead the Indian delegation for the dialogue, said.

He argued that since Chinese firms were shifting bases to other countries in order to be more cost effective, India will prove to be an attractive investment destination. This would also help create more employment in the country as well as increase India's exports as these companies also have market links abroad, he added.

Panagariya said India would look to take advantage of China's expertise in smart cities, redevelopment of railway stations and setting up coastal economic zones. A Chinese delegation of 220 businessmen and government officials will participate in the two-day economic meet from 6-7 October, to be hosted by Niti Aayog.