Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) walks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, April 28, 2018. (Photo: Xinhua)
Though rising protectionism is hurting world trade, it also brings India and China closer, a prominent Indian business leader told CGTN on Wednesday on the sidelines of the BRICS Business Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa.
"I think this will bring India and China closer in terms of business and trade," said Onkar S Kanwar, chairman of the Indian Chapter of the BRICS Business Council.
Established in March 2013, the BRICS Business Council aims to facilitate cooperation between Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa in various sectors, as well as promote trade and industry amongst them.
Kanwar noted that Indian and Chinese economies are highly complementary to each other and called for closer cooperation between the two countries.
China is "very strong" in hardware manufacturing, whereas India is "the biggest player in terms of software," he said, adding that the two sides should work together to bring more opportunities to their people.
The BRICS Business Forum is part of the 10th BRICS summit, which is attended by both Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The summit lasts from Wednesday to Friday.
Bilateral ties between China and India have been improving since a border standoff from June to August 2017. Ahead of the BRICS Johannesburg summit, Beijing proposed a "China-India Plus" model of cooperation in Africa.
"We hope that the two sides will follow through on the consensus between the two leaders to vigorously explore 'China-India Plus One' or 'China-India Plus X' cooperation to achieve mutual benefits and win-win outcomes between China and India and other countries, and jointly make contributions to promoting regional and world peace, stability, development and prosperity," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Tuesday.
In Johannesburg, Xi and Modi will meet for the third time this year, following an informal meeting in central China's Wuhan in April and talks on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in east China's Qingdao last month.