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Indian PM highlights focus for future cooperation with China
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Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday has called for more people-to-people contacts with China to remove misconceptions and prejudices.


Singh called for the bridging of the "knowledge gap" between India and China and sustained effort to ensure proper mutual awareness in a speech to a packed audience at the Chinese Academy of Social Science.


"We need a broad based comprehensive dialogue at the level of intelligentsia, media, non-governmental professionals and the worlds of culture and arts," Singh said.


He also highlighted other key focus areas for the future cooperation.


"We need to expand our cooperation in a broad range of functional sectors. We would like to learn from China's success in the creation of physical infrastructure, strategies to provide productive employment outside the agriculture sector and poverty alleviation," said Singh.


Other areas for potential cooperation were science and technology, public health, education, institution building, water resource management and disaster management, he said.


India and China should harness complementary strengths and synergies in the areas of trade and business. India's growing consumer market, skilled human resources, and software excellence together with China's large market, its manufacturing prowess and cost competitiveness provided the platform for exponential growth in the economic ties, he said.


China is India's second largest trading partner and the two countries agreed to set a bilateral trade target of 60 billion U.S. dollars by the year 2010.


Singh is in China for a three-day visit that began on Sunday. It was his first visit since taking office in 2004.


(Xinhua News Agency January 15, 2008)

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