Beijing, May 15: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Friday launched an interactive forum for Indian states and Chinese provinces to establish economic cooperative partnership to develop their respective areas.
Addressing a meeting attended by among others Chief Ministers of Gujarat and Maharashtra as well as governors and mayors from different cities, Modi termed the launch a historic moment as provinces and states play important role in the development.
"In times to come, this will become one of the most important instruments for deepening our economic partnership and contact between our people. This is a historic moment in the relationship between India and China.
Today, we are launching a new vehicle for advancing cooperation between our two countries," he said addressing the meeting along Premier Li after their talks at the Great Hall of People.
"It comes from a serious conviction, born from my experience, that states have a vital role to play in the national development," he said. "I am asking my ministries to move conferences out of Delhi to state capitals and other cities, so that they do get the benefits that come from hosting such events," he said.
Modi: Historic moment in the relationship between India and China
"More than anything else, we deal with the state governments in a spirit of partnership and with sensitivity to their concerns. And, in doing so, we do not look at the symbol of the political party that is in power in the state. Which is why, when I invited state governments to participate in this event, I did considered the linkages of their states with China, but also broader political representation," Modi said.
Modi said in India's Constitution, state governments have predominant role in economic and social development. He said while central government creates the macro-economic environment, "but, in the end, the state governments have an important role in their implementation".
"As I saw in my own experience, state governments can take innumerable initiatives for the development of the states. That is the level of autonomy and responsibility that they enjoy under our Constitution," he said.
"In the same national environment, states are performing at different levels. For business investors, too, whether they are India nor foreign, their journey may begin in Delhi, but their success ultimately depends on state capitals," he said.