India and China signed a long-planned co-production agreement during the state visit of China’s president Xi Jinping to India.

The agreement aims to strengthen ties between the film industries of the world’s two most populous nations. It was signed by India’s Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Prakash Javadekar, and Cai Fuchao, Minister for China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT).

Currently, there is very little collaboration between the two countries, although Chinese films are occasionally released in India and Bollywood title Dhoom 3 was released in China by HGC Entertainment earlier this year. Reliance Entertainment’s 3 Idiots had a successful run in both Hong Kong and China in 2011.

“The agreement would enable the producers from both countries to get an opportunity to pool their creative, artistic, technical, financial and marketing resources to co-produce films. It would help Indian audio-visual products to gain greater market access,” India’s I&B Ministry said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the two countries will hold the first meeting of a Joint Working Group on Films at this year’s International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa, which will also have a Chinese cinema section in the programming.

The National Film Development Corp’s co-production event, Film Bazaar (Nov 20-24), will also have a focus on co-producing with China.

India also has co-production agreements with Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Poland and New Zealand.