Chinese and Indian senior officials on Monday pledged to strengthen trade ties and economic cooperation in fields of construction, investment, financial services, technology, education and tourism.
Chinese Vice-Premier Hui Liangyu, who attended the China-India Economic, Trade and Investment Cooperation Summit held in Beijing, welcomed the visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, hailing the overall growth of ties between the two countries, especially in economic and trade cooperation.
The bilateral trade volume has reached US$38.7 billion in 2007, about 33 times the figure in 1995, with an annual growth of 34 percent. China has become the second largest trade partner of India, and India the tenth largest trade partner of China, Hui said.
The investment between China and India has been expanding, and contracted projects keep increasing. Hui encouraged communication and exchange between industry and commerce circles of the two countries, and also called for cooperation in other countries.
"We are making efforts to expand and deepen the economic and trade ties between China and India. We also hope to develop new ways of cooperation between the two countries," Hui said.
China and India, both enjoy a long tradition of civilization, together topped the list of fast growing developing countries. As economic globalization intensifies, the pursuit of peace, development and cooperation is the dominant trend of the time, Hui said.
China regards India as a friend and partner, and wishes India would become more prosperous. The mutual development not only benefits the 2.4 billion people of the two counties, but also contributes to Asian and world peace, Hui said.
"China is ready to join hands with India, improve mutual cooperation, and together create a brighter future," said Hui.
Echoing Hui's remarks, Singh said that India and China are the fastest growing large economies in the world, and economic cooperation between the two has become a principal driver of strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity.
Singh suggested that Indian and Chinese industry and commerce circles should further deepen understanding and cooperation so as to achieve mutual benefits.
"Our trade target of 20 billion US dollars by 2008 was reached two years ahead of schedule. The revised target of 40 billion US dollars by 2010 is also likely to be achieved two years ahead of schedule," Singh said.
Citing "enormous opportunities" for India and China, Singh suggested the two countries expand trade in services, particularly in construction and engineering, education, entertainment, financial services, IT services, transport, tourism and health.
"We will work together with the Chinese government to remove administrative barriers and simplify regulatory regimes in order to move forward in these areas," he said.
The Indian leader also suggested a three-pronged strategy for the chambers of industry and commerce of both countries. This included jointly working out a strategic plan for the future, developing profitable business models that factor in their complimentary and competitive strengths and special needs of both large markets, and acquiring insight into each other's markets, business customs and management styles.
Over 600 delegates from Chinese and Indian industry and commerce circles attended the summit.