China is considering the possibility of establishing a free
trade area (FTA) with India, a senior official with the Ministry of
Commerce has said.
"Following the reopening of the trade post on the Indian-Chinese
border, our government is considering FTA talks with India,"
assistant minister of commerce Fu Ziying said at the weekend at the
2007 China Industrial Development Forum in Beijing.
"We have to follow economic globalization trends and push for
the liberalization and facilitation of trade," he said.
China already has ongoing FTA talks with Singapore, Australia,
New Zealand and Pakistan as well as the Association of Southeast
Asian Nations (ASEAN).
With a combined population of 1.7 billion, the China-ASEAN FTA
will be the biggest FTA in the world when it becomes operational in
A FTA between China and India, the world's second most populous
nation after China, would benefit as many as 2.4 billion people in
Trade between the two Asian giants, both among the world's
fastest growing economies, has expanded quickly in recent
Bilateral trade surged 37.5 percent to reach US$18.73 billion in
2005. It is expected to hit US$20 billion this year.
As a symbol of their closer trade ties, the two countries
reopened cross-border trade at the Himalayan Nathu La Pass in July,
44 years after trade was disrupted in the wake of a short border
(Xinhua News Agency November 6, 2006)