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#Powerful: Modi and Keqiang’s $22 Billion Selfie

China and India signed 26 business deals worth more than $22 billion in areas including renewable energy, ports, financing and industrial parks, an Indian embassy official said on Saturday.

Namgya C. Khampa, of the Indian Embassy in Beijing, made the remarks at the end of a three-day visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during which he sought to boost economic ties and quell anxiety over a border dispute between the neighbours.

“The agreements have a bilateral commercial engagement in sectors like renewable energy, industrial parks, power, steel, logistics finance and media and entertainment,” Khampa said.

At the same event, Modi encouraged Chinese companies to embrace opportunities in India in manufacturing, processing and infrastructure, announcing “now India is ready for business” with an improved regulatory environment.

“You are the ‘factory of the world’ whereas we are the ‘back office of the world’,” Modi said.

“You give thrust on production of hardware, while India focuses on software and services.”

These 26 deals are in addition to 24 agreements signed on Friday between the two countries.

It comes days after what was described as “the most powerful selfie in the world”.

In a rare show of charm from one of the world’s most aloof leaders, Chinese premier Li Keqiang appeared in a grinning photograph with Mr Modi.

The selfie, which shows the pair at a historical site smiling shoulder to shoulder, with Li squinting slightly in the sunlight, was posted on Modi’s account on Weibo, the Chinese microblogging site.

Modi joined Weibo, China’s answer to Twitter, ahead of his visit to China.

China is interested in opportunities in India’s $2 trillion economy.

During a visit to India last year by Chinese President Xi Jinping, China announced $20 billion in investments over five years, including setting up two industrial parks.

Since then, progress has been slow, in part because of the difficulties Modi has had in getting political approval for easier land acquisition laws.



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