'No FTA on the agenda during Hu visit'
India and China will ink at least half a dozen trade agreements, but there is no free trade agreement (FTA) on the cards.india Updated: Nov 20, 2006 15:19 IST
India and China will ink at least half a dozen trade agreements during Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to India, but there is no free trade agreement (FTA) on the cards, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said on Monday.
"I will be meeting the Chinese trade and industry minister. They are coming with the Chinese president. We are likely to sign seven or eight trade agreements," Kamal Nath told reporters, hours before Hu arrives here on Monday evening.
The minister categorically stated that the signing of a much talked about free trade agreement with China was not on the agenda during the four-day visit.
"We should, in fact, be looking at an economic cooperation agreement in the long run which will be much wider in scope."
The commerce minister expressed satisfaction over the pace of growth of trade between the two countries. "India and China's annual trade has grown from $1 billion to $20 billion in a span of four years."
"It is clear that both the sides have lot of synergies. We welcome Chinese investment in India," Kamal Nath said, clarifying that there were no security or any other concerns related to Chinese investment in India.