NEW DELHI -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Wednesday stressed that China and India are cooperative partners instead of rivals, calling for efforts to further enhance bilateral trade links and jointly fight protectionism.
"There is enough room in the world for China and India to develop both countries and cooperate with each other," Wen said when addressing a bilateral business cooperation forum in New Delhi.
Hailing the sound momentum of bilateral ties, Wen said that economic and trade cooperation between China and India has witnessed unprecedented progress in recent years. He said it has entered the most vigorous and fruitful "new period."
Wen arrived in New Delhi earlier Wednesday for a three-day official visit at the invitation of his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh.
"The rapid economic growth of both sides served as important engines for world economic growth," Wen said, adding China-India trade cooperation is mutually beneficial and foresees a bright future.
In 2009, two-way trade between China and India reached US$43.381 billion.
"Our trade volume has increased by 20 times in the past ten years, and our mutual investment has brought rich benefits to both sides," Wen said.
Regarding India as one of China's largest overseas engineering contract markets, Wen said the two countries enjoy broad market space, and should open markets for each other to give a strong boost to economic growth.
Wen said the two countries have wide-ranging common interests in global economic and trade system, and share the same or similar stances on many major economic and trade issues.
He said that the two sides should learn from each other in their respective reform and opening-up process, enhance communication and coordination and safeguard their common interests.
Wen's visit marks the first to India by a Chinese premier in four years. It follows Indian President Pratibha Patil's visit to China in May -- the first by an Indian head of state in a decade.
Wen was scheduled for talks with Singh on Thursday morning on bilateral ties and international and regional issues of common concern. He will also attend events marking the 60th anniversary of China-India diplomatic ties, and meet with Indian people from various circles, before concluding his tour on Friday.