Relations with India on fast track : Zhang Yan

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Kochi, Aug 20: Chinese Ambassador to India Zhang Yan has said that the strategic relationship between China and India was on the fast track of development and the current century would be Asia-centric with both countries gaining strength as economic powers of the region.

Addressing a gathering at a function organised by the Kerala Chamber of Commerce&Industry here last night, Mr Yan said '' with the recent visits of Chinese and Indian premiers to India and China respectively, there was a strong Platform for co-operation between the two countries.'' He said the two-way trade between China and India had touched 38 billion Dollars last year and in the first six months of the current fiscal (Jan to Dec) the trade had already touched 29 billion dollars, an increase of more than 70 per cent.

'' The two countries with a huge amount of foreign exchange reserve had the potential to invest in each other's country, '' he noted.

Mr Yan said the more than 150 Indian companies including Infosys and TCS had opened their offices in China and about 60 Chinese companies had opened their branches in India.

Stressing the importance of the bilateral economic relations, Mr Yan said the both the countries had their strong points on the economic front and these advanatges should be utilized for mutual benefit.

He said the main purpose of the visit to Kerala was to weigh the options of opening a sub-office of the Indo-China Economic&Culture Centre Council in the State.

Speaking on the occasion, Commercial Counselor to the Chinese Ambassador to India Peng Gang said India had become China's eighth largest bilateral trading partner at the end of July this year and his country continues to be the largest trading partner of India.

He said Kerala had great potential and Chinese companies could invest in the infrastructure sector of the State.

Mr Gang said India had an edge in the services sector and China had its own advantage in communication and tourism sectors and these should be exploited by both the countries.

During the visit, the Chinese envoy also held meetings with various state ministers and top officials, and discussed about the potential business opportunities in the State.

UNI

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