New Delhi: Terming Railway cooperation as the “brightest spot” in bilateral relations, Chinese envoy to India Le Yucheng today said Beijing was ready to scale up its presence in this front in the coming days.
He welcomed the “opening up” of Indian Railways to private and foreign companies and expressed the hope that more investment-friendly policies would be implemented.
“There is a huge infrastructure demand in India”, he said terming China and India can work on a long term commitments that helps boost the bilateral trade and commerce between the two big nations of Asia. China is ready to enhance railway cooperation with India and encourages Chinese companies to join India’s railways development.
“We hope further investment-friendly policies will be carried out in the future such as shortening registration process of project companies, reducing all kinds of approvals, facilitating application process of working visas,” he said.
The Ambassador was speaking at the ‘Railways @ 2020-Investment issues and Opportunities’ conference organised by industry body ASSOCHAM here which was also attended by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and MoS Railways Manoj Sinha.
He expanded upon China’s “remarkable” progress in building high speed corridors over the last two decades, saying it was ready to assist India in building the same for which the two countries have already signed an MoU.
Railways have identified Chennai-Bangalore-Mysore section for raising speed to 160 km per hour with help from China.
As per the action plan on the proposed semi-high speed project, China will conduct design and survey for the specified sections and also impart training to railway personnel on increasing speed.
French Ambassador to India Francois Richier, who also addressed the conference, emphasised on the need for transparency, efficiency and speed and spoke about the strategic significance of railways.
“The fact that railways are a vital strategic asset and there is a security element especially in times of war or any other catastrophe is often ignored,” he said.
Czech Republic Ambassador Milosav Stasek, who was also present, said more Czech companies would be seen investing in the development of Indian railways in the near future.