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India-China trade reached record level in 2017, says Chinese media, even as Doklam happened

By Shubham

China's Ministry of Commerce said in a press conference on Thursday, April 26, on the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's two-day meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping that the trade between India and China attained a record level in 2017, the same year when their respective militaries had a standoff in Doklam, China's Global Times reported.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and other officials during his visit in Wuhan, China

The official, who informed this, also said the Modi-Jinping meeting was set to flag off a new chapter for economic and trade cooperation between New Delhi and Beijing.

Modi and Jinping started their two-day informal meeting in Wuhan city in Hubei province of central-eastern China which the Chinese president also hailed as a development that would open a new chapter in his country's relation with India.

According to data released by the ministry, India and China's bilateral trade volume reached $84.4 billion in 2017, which is 20.3 per cent more than in 2016 and it was the biggest leap their trade relations took in the past five years, the Global Times said.

The India-China trade growth rate also exceeded those that China witnessed with other countries like Japan (12.8 per cent), Korea (13.7 per cent) and Thailand (8.7 per cent), the report added.

"As two of the biggest emerging economies in the world, China and India have strong economic complementarities and huge potential for cooperation. The economic and trade cooperation between the two countries has maintained a momentum of rapid development in recent years," the report quoted Gao Feng, spokesperson for the commerce ministry, as saying.

While India mainly imported mechanical and electrical goods from China, the latter took base metals and related goods, textiles and raw materials from its southern neighbour.

"As of the end of 2017, China has cumulatively invested more than $8 billion in India, and India has become one of the most important overseas infrastructure cooperation markets and investment destinations for Chinese companies," Global Times further quoted Gao as saying.

2018 also happened to be a promising year for the bilateral trade as the first quarter of the year saw the volume reaching $22.13 billion, a rise of 15.4 per cent compared to the corresponding period in 2017.

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