Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Leung held talks. Both leaders expressed hope the visit would lead to future trade and investment opportunities.
However, the trip came amid a poorly timed remark floated by the SAR’s immigration chief to tighten visa rules targeting Indians and nationals of other countries from which there has been a surge of asylum claimants.
The policy suggestions did not appear to sour the meeting, according to the official press releases issued by the two leaders.
Hong Kong’s top official led a 40-person delegation of top business leaders to New Delhi to highlight the “tremendous” business interest in India. Leung also called on Indian businesses to tap into Hong Kong’s position as a “super-connector” to explore business opportunities in mainland China and the region.
The chief executive invited Indian government and business leaders to Hong Kong for round-table meetings to explore further business opportunities.
“With India’s tremendous economic potential, trade and investment between Hong Kong and India are expected to expand continuously in the coming years,” said Leung, with India ranking as the territory’s seventh largest trading partner.
Leung announced negotiations on an investment promotion and protection agreement in a bid to “strengthen” economic benefits.
The agreement provides a framework for the promotion of trade and settlement of trade disputes and establishes a system for the protection of investors’ rights between India and Hong Kong.
The city has signed 17 similar agreements with countries including Australia, Germany, Japan and Britain.
The office of the Indian Prime Minister said in a statement: “The Prime Minister welcomed Mr CY Leung on his first official visit to India and expressed hope that his visit will lead to increased trade, investment and tourism links between India and Hong Kong.
“The Prime Minister and Mr CY Leung agreed to strengthen bilateral economic cooperation, especially in the financial services sector, as well as cooperation in the field of education.”
Amid talk of visa restrictions on Indians, Leung emphasised Hong Kong and India’s “longstanding community ties and the potential for further deepening and boadening people-to-people bonds.”