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‘Tamil Nadu must keep up momentum generated by Modi-Xi summit’ : Interview by The Hindu with Cmde. R

Image Courtesy: The Hindu

C3S Interview: 008/2019

Original Article Courtesy: The Hindu

Tamil Nadu, which has earned a good deal of visibility at the global level in the wake of the Mamallapuram India-China informal summit, should ensure that the momentum, generated by the high profile event, is not lost, according to a cross-section of specialists.

“It is fine to have plenty of declarations including the one on the proposed ‘sister-state’ relationship between Tamil Nadu and Fujian province but this should be followed up with the action on the ground,” says Commodore (retd.) R.S. Vasan, director of the Chennai Centre for China Studies.

Pointing out that China is now on the lookout of destinations for shifting its production facilities, the Centre’s director wants the State government to send a delegation immediately to China and seek industrial investments. “The delegation should visit not only Fujian but also industrial belts. It is an opportune time to improve our profile,” he says, calling upon the State government to display greater transparency in its functioning and have improved system of regulations on “ease of business doing.”

Emphasising the importance of people-to-people ties between the two countries, Commodore Vasan suggests that exchange programmes, involving students and academia, be conducted. Several government officials take pride in the “level of efficiency” of the State bureaucracy in holding an event of this nature. Describing the summit as a “good branding exercise,” the officials say this should be handy for the government, which has been taking steps to woo foreign investment such as the Global Investors’ Meet and Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami’s overseas visit.

R. Kannan, former Additional Chief Secretary (Tourism, Culture and Religious Endowment), says .the immediate beneficial impact of the summit is evident from the fact that the historic town and monuments got spruced up. “Otherwise, it would have taken years of budgetary allocation for this to happen,” he observes.

Tourism Ties

Chances are greater for substantial improvement in tourist movement in either direction in the light of renewed focus paid to historical and cultural ties between Tamil Nadu and parts of China, Dr. Kannan adds.

The message of appreciation from the Union government to the State government for the arrangements has provided some degree of respect to the latter, P. Ramajayam, academician, says. But, this will not yield any political benefit to the ruling party, which suffered heavily during the Lok Sabha elections in April-May.

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