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Hu's `Panchsheel' to boost bilateral trade

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TRADING PARTNERS: The Chinese President, Mr Hu Jintao, and the Union Commerce & Industry Minister, Mr Kamal Nath, at the India-China Economic, Trade & Investment Cooperation Summit held in Mumbai on Thursday. Paul Noronha
TRADING PARTNERS: The Chinese President, Mr Hu Jintao, and the Union Commerce & Industry Minister, Mr Kamal Nath, at the India-China Economic, Trade & Investment Cooperation Summit held in Mumbai on Thursday. Paul Noronha

Our Bureau

Mumbai, Nov. 23

On the concluding day of his four-day visit to India, the Chinese President Mr Hu Jintao scripted a `Panchsheel' to expand trade and economic co-operation between India and China.

Stepping up bilateral trade, strengthening co-operation in key areas, improving the investment climate, encouraging tie-ups for third country projects and establishing a China-India free trade area are the five steps suggested by Mr Hu.

Addressing a gathering of businessmen and industrialists under the joint auspices of three top Indian industry bodies FICCI, CII and Assocham in the commercial capital of the country, the Chinese leader suggested that Indian and Chinese companies should set up joint ventures in third countries to explore opportunities in the energy sector.

Pointing out that both countries have extensive common interests in international energy, he also said that the companies should be encouraged to go in for joint bidding for third country energy projects.

He said Indo-China trade is now growing at the rate of 32 per cent and the $20 billion target, set for 2008, is expected to be exceeded this year itself. A new target of $40 billion has been set for 2010. China is now India's second largest trading partner and India is China's largest trading partner in South Asia.

He said the strengths of India and China in information technology, energy resources, infrastructure, science and technology and agriculture are mutually complementary and offer great potential for co-operation.

The Chinese government will continue to encourage competitive Chinese companies to make investments and do business in India and Indian companies are welcome to explore business opportunities in China.

Mr Hu suggested that India and China should strengthen coordination in the World Trade Organisation and other multilateral organisations to jointly uphold the rights of the developing countries.

The Commerce Minister Mr Kamal Nath said bilateral investments between India and China are expected to grow $5 billion by 2010.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated November 24, 2006)
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