India, China ink BIPA, 12 other pacts
New Delhi, Nov 21 (UNI) India and China today signed 13 pacts including a Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement (BIPA), and pledged to double bilateral trade to 40 billion US dollars by 2010.
The two sides signed 13 pacts after more than three-hour-long ''open, cordial and constructive talks'' between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao.
The BIPA pact signed between Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath and his Chinese counterpart Bo Xilai is expected to address mutual concerns over protecting investment flows from one country to the other.
''The conclusion of the Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement (BIPA) is a welcome development that will provide the institutional and legal basis to encourage and promote greater investment flows between the two countries,'' officials said.
Describing the comprehensive economic and commercial engagement between India and China as a ''core component'' of their Strategic and Cooperative Partnership, the Joint Declaration said the two countries would endeavour to step up the volume of their bilateral trade to 40 billion US dollars by 2010.
Declaring that they were "partners for mutual benefit" and discarding their decades-old negative postures, the two leaders decided to extend cooperation in the fields of energy, economics, trade, agriculture, HRD, and tourism and double regional trade.
The Joint Task Force set up to study the feasibility and benefits of an India-China Regional Trading Arrangement shall complete its work by October 2007.
Both sides agreed that border trade would be strengthened and possibilities explored for opening additional trading routes besides Nathu La, such as the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra route.
According to the Joint Declaration, both countries would make joint efforts to diversify their trade basket, remove existing impediments and optimally utlise complementarities in their economies.
The Memorandum of Understanding on Inspection of Export Cargo (Iron Ore) was signed by Mr Kamal Nath and Mr Li Changjiang, Administrator of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China.
Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar signed a protocol on phytosanitary requirements for basmati rice exports from India to China.
Further, the Chinese side invited India to participate in the World Exposition Shanghai 2010 which was accepted.
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