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China, India vow to expand trade, economic cooperation
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Chinese and Indian senior officials on Monday pledged to strengthen trade ties and economic cooperation in fields of construction, investment, financial services, technology, education and tourism.


Vice Premier Hui Liangyu, who attended the China-India Economic, Trade and Investment Cooperation Summit in Beijing, welcomed the visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, hailing the overall growth of ties between the two countries, especially in economic and trade cooperation.


Bilateral trade volume reached 38.7 billion U.S. dollars in 2007, about 33 times the 1995 figure, with an annual growth of 34 percent. China has become India's second largest trade partner. India is the 10th largest trade partner of China, Hui said.


The investment between China and India has been expanding, and contracted projects have kept increasing. Hui encouraged the exchanges between industry and commerce circles of the two nations, and called for cooperation in other countries.


"We are making efforts to expand and deepen the economic and trade ties between China and India. We also hope to develop new ways of cooperation between the two countries," Hui said.


China and India top the list of fast growing developing countries. As economic globalization intensifies, the pursuit of peace, development and cooperation is the dominant trend of the time, Hui said.


China regards India as a friend and partner, and wishes India becomes more prosperous. The mutual development not only benefits the combined 2.4 billion people of the two countries, but also contributes to Asian and world peace, Hui said.


"China is ready to join hands with India, improve mutual cooperation, and together create a brighter future," Hui said.


Echoing Hui's remarks, Singh said India and China are the world's fastest growing large economies, and economic cooperation between the two has become a principal driver of strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity.


Singh suggested Indian and Chinese industry and commerce circles should further deepen understanding and cooperation so as to achieve mutual benefits.


"Our trade target of 20 billion U.S. dollars by 2008 was reached two years ahead of schedule. The revised target of 40 billion U.S. dollars by 2010 is also likely to be achieved two years ahead of schedule," Singh said.


Citing "enormous opportunities" for India and China, Singh suggested the two countries expand trade in services, particularly in construction and engineering, education, entertainment, financial services, IT services, transport, tourism and health.


"We will work together with the Chinese government to remove administrative barriers and simplify regulatory regimes in order to move forward in these areas," he said.


The Indian leader also suggested a three-pronged strategy for the chambers of industry and commerce of both countries. This included jointly working out a strategic plan for the future, developing profitable business models that factor in their complimentary and competitive strengths and special needs of both large markets, and acquiring insight into each other's markets, business customs and management styles.


Over 600 delegates from Chinese and Indian industry and commerce circles attended the summit.


(Xinhua News Agency January 15, 2008)

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