Home » China and India Vie for Work in Surrounding Asian Nations
India and China’s past disputes over border issues are now moving to the economic front. As China becomes India’s largest trading partner, Chinese construction companies are gearing up to cash in on by Indian plans to invest over $1 trillion in infrastructure in the next five years.
Chinese enterprises have already completed infrastructure projects in India worth more than $10 billion and are involved with nearly $6 billion in projects in nearby Sri Lanka. China has become a larger presence there than even its traditional investor-donors, India and Japan.
India’s discomfort was clear when prospective bidders for the 22-km long bridge that is part of the Mumbai-Trans Harbor Link project were cautioned against linking with Chinese companies, citing security reasons because of an atomic research center and naval installation in the vicinity, ENR has learned.
With Chinese firms taking an aggressive competitive stance, India has expressed concerns that China's growing presence in the “string of pearls” nations surrounding it—Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh—will hurt its own dominant role. Already, the Chinese are also assisting in constructiing Sri Lanka's first coal-fired power plant and are involved in several highway projects.
Despite India’s robust economic partnership agreement with Sri Lanka, China has edged its way into its marketplace, thanks to a hefty finance package on one project from the Chinese Export-Import Bank. The bank is financing 85% of the nearly $1-billion Hambantota Ruhunu Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa International Port in southern Sri Lanka, one of the single biggest development projects.
Constructed by China Harbour Engineering, Hambantota port is part of a $6-billion drive to rebuild infrastructure after the country's 26-year civil war that ended in 2009. President Mahinda Rajapaksa said in an interview two years ago that the port project was first offered to India, but was turned down.
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