Chinese envoy calls for fostering friendship with India

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Kolkata, Feb 26: Chinese Ambassador in India Zhang Yan today ruled out any rivalry between the two Asian giants and called for new approach between Beijing and New Delhi to expand import from India and reduce trade imbalance between the two neigbours.

" A meaningful relationship between China and India will not only benefit the 2.4 billion people of both countries, but also the entire world, " the Chinese diplomat said in an interactive session on "China-India Trade: a new horizon for West Bengal".

China-India relation had gone well beyond the bilateral context and acquired global and strategic dimension in importance after Chinese premier Wen Jiabao's visit to India in 2005, President Hu Jintao's in 2006 and Prime Minister Monmohan Singh's trip to Beijing last January, Mr Yan said.

Although the bilateral trade volume had been increasing at an annual rate above 30 per cent, the figure in 2007 touched $38.7 billion, up by 55 per cent, and China had become India's second largest trading partner.

However, the trade deficit in favour of India was not a welcome trend, the diplomat opined.

Mr Yan said leaders of both countires raised the target of bilateral trade to $ 60 billion in 2010 from $ 40 billion now and stated that China-India economic and trade cooperation would continue to remain on fast track.

An Indo-China trade figure said while Indian import from China between Jan-Nov stood at $ 21,612.53 million, a growth of 66.5 per cent, Indian export to China was $ 12586.90 million, a growth of 36.6 per cent, a negative trade balance of $ 9025.63.

" Trade deficit is not good for sustainable bilateral trade, " Mr Yan pointed out and sought suggestion from Indian businessmen so that he could send those to Chinese Commerce Ministry for increasing import of Indian goods and products.

" The Chinese side is actively studying the concrete measures for expanding import from India, " Mr Yan reiterated.


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