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India, China say enough room for both to prosper

Hu says both the nations will strive to take the bilateral volume of trade to $40 billion by 2010. Have your say...

india Updated: Nov 21, 2006 17:43 IST
Agencies

India and China agreed to a 10-point plan on Tuesday to boost their friendship and reduce mistrust, saying there was enough room for the Asian giants to grow together while remaining sensitive to the other's concerns.

The new resolve by the neighbours, whose ties have been marked by burgeoning trade but remain hostage to mistrust sparked by a border war, came after talks between Chinese President Hu Jintao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Hu arrived in New Delhi on Monday for a four-day visit, the first by a Chinese president in a decade and only the second ever.

"President Hu and I are in agreement that the prospects are bright for the simultaneous development of India and China," Singh said during a joint address to the media.

"There is enough space for the two countries to develop together in a mutually supportive manner while remaining sensitive to each other's concerns and aspirations as befits good neighbours and partners for mutual benefit," he said.

Trade facts

In 2006, the trade volume between India and China is expected to cross 20 billion dollars, a figure that the two countries had aimed to reach by 2008.

In 2005, the figure was 17.5 billion dollars. From a figure of 260 million dollars of bilateral trade in 1991, the figure is set to cross 30 billion dollars before 2010.

Iron ore for steel manufacture constitutes around 50 per cent of India's trade basket to China.

The balance of trade is currently in China's favour as Indian imports from China are mainly manufactured goods and value added goods.

India and China would work to double their trade to $40 billion by 2010 from current levels and had also agreed to push for an early settlement to their decades-old border dispute, Singh said.

"Such a settlement will invest our strategic partnership with further strength and dynamism," he said.

Earlier, Hu said he hoped to strengthen the centuries-old amity between China and India and build a trusting relationship between the world's two most populous countries.

He said the purposes of his "visit to India is to strengthen our friendship, increase our mutual trust, expand our cooperation and chart a course for the future".

Although no major breakthroughs or agreements were expected during Hu's visit it was keenly awaited for its symbolism as analysts hoped it would help ease mutual suspicion between the rapidly growing economies.

Nuclear Cooperation

The two giants also took the path-breaking step to promote cooperation in civil nuclear energy, four days after the US Senate voted for a similar tie-up between Washington and New Delhi.