Beijing, Jan 15 (UNI) Emphasising that India and China must put behind their differences and disputes, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said it should be the endeavour of the two countries to ensure that bilateral relations are based on positive externalities and mutual prosperity rather than on power calculations and animosity.
The Prime Minister said that to start with both the countries must recognise that India-China relations impinge not only on the welfare of the people of the two countries but also influence regional and global trends.
''We recognise that the world is evolving and developing features of multipolarity. It is natural that major powers, bound together by economic interdependence, will seek to cooperate with each other to mutual benefit. India and China must be part of this cooperative framework,'' Dr Singh said in his address at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
He said the two countries stood at an exciting point in history when the centre of gravity of the world economy was moving towards Asia. ''By the mid 21st century, Asia may well account for more than 50 per cent of trade, income, saving, investment and financial transactions of the world.'' Observing that Asia was today more integrated than ever before in terms of trade and goods and services and investment of capital and knowledge, Dr Singh said India was discussing several constructive ideas for an open inclusive economic architecture from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific.
He said the experiences of cooperation at the Doha round of the WTO negotiations, enables the two sides to create a more open and equitable trading and financial architecture.
The Prime Minister pointed out three key focus areas of cooperation between the two Asian giants.
First, the ''knowledge gap'' between the two countries must be bridged so as to ensure proper awareness of not only culture and history but also contemporary developments. Second, expanding cooperation in potential areas like science and technology, public health, water resource management and disaster management.
Third, complimentarities and synergies in trade and business should be harnessed for exponential growth in economic ties.
''China is already the second largest trading partner of India.
Yesterday, we agreed to set a bilateral trade target of 60 billion US dollars by the year 2010,'' he said.
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