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PM Modi-Xi Jinping to discuss bilateral trade, economic issues today

After a long evening on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping will get down to business and discuss range of issues on Saturday.

The two leaders, who were supposed to spend six hours in two days — Friday and Saturday — ended up spending nearly five hours on Friday itself, mainly due to a prolonged dinner, which lasted for over two-and-a-half hours, instead of an hour, as originally planned.

Both the leaders were in the historical town of Mamallapuram, 60 hms away from Chennai, for the two-day informal summit.

After an hour-long guided tour, conducted by Prime Minister Modi himself, who was dressed in the Tamil traditional attire comprising a white shirt, dhoti and angavastram, both the leaders saw a cultural programme and then sat down for a private dinner.

Both discussed various issues including terrorism, culture, trade, investment among others during the dinner.

India’s foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale said that the two leaders agreed that their respective countries faced a common foe in terrorism.

“The two leaders had detailed discussions on their respective national visions, of their governance priorities. The prime minister explained that having been recently re-elected to a second term he had received renewed mandate for economic development. President Xi Jinping, while acknowledging that the prime minister had received the mandate, said that he was looking forward to working very closely with Prime Minister Modi on all issues during the next four to four-and-a-half years,” he said.

The two leaders also spoke about other developmental priorities, including trade related issues, economic issues, on trying to identify areas for investment that the two countries could encourage, and also on how to enhance the trade volume and the trade value. This also included the issue of trade deficit.

Both the leaders agreed that radicalsation was a major challenge for both the countries, which needed to work together. They also agreed to enhance cultural ties through knowledge sharing.

While yesterday’s discussions focused on the national visions, Saturday’s discusions will focus on international and regional issues although, Gokhale added.

Delegation level talks are planned for today and the informal meet will end with lunch and separate statements from both the side.

Source: Business Standard