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India, China to Double Bilateral Trade by 2005

India and China are aiming to double their bilateral trade to about US$10 billion by 2005, the Indian commerce minister said Friday.

"We are conscious of our growth and are targeting US$10 billion trade by 2005," Commerce and Industry Minister Arun Jaitley said at a seminar on India-China trade relations organized by CNBC in New Delhi.

He said that in last fiscal, India's exports to China grew by 106 percent against 86 percent of China's exports to India.

Total bilateral trade for the 11 months (April 2002-February 2003) was US$4.2 billion as against US$2.6 billion during the corresponding period in 2001-02.

The country's US$1.6 billion exports to China during 2002-03 (April-February) indicated a growth of nearly 100 percent over the level of US$846.3 million during April-February in 2001-02.

Pointing at the areas of cooperation between the two sides, he said while New Delhi is attempting to expand its exports basket, both are also working on common areas of interest at multilateral trade fora.

India and China are among the 14 countries that have proposed a framework for agriculture in WTO, he said.

(Xinhua News Agency August 23, 2003)

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