China, India sign energy agreement
Updated: 2006-01-13 05:46
China and India signed a slew of co-operation pacts in the hydrocarbon sector
yesterday to ensure secure energy supplies.
In the "Memorandum for Enhancing Cooperation in the Field of Oil and
Natural Gas" signed yesterday between Mani Shankar Aiyar, the visiting Indian
petroleum and natural gas minister, and Ma Kai, director of China's National
Development and Reform Commission, both sides identified key areas for
They include upstream exploration and production,
refining and marketing of petroleum products and petrochemicals, research and
development, conservation, and promotion of environment-friendly fuels.
India's petroleum minister arrived in China
amid hopes the two Asian giants might cooperate rather than compete for
access to the world's hotly contested energy reserves. [AFP]
The agreement also allows trading in oil and joint bidding in third
countries that will help both nations reduce the burden on the exchequers.
"We look upon China not as a strategic competitor but as a strategic
partner," said Aiyar at a news conference at the Indian Embassy in Beijing last
"Both China and India recognize that unbridled rivalry between them only
results in the seller of the assets being benefited irrespective of which of the
two countries wins the bid," Aiyar told reporters on Thursday.
"Therefore it does make sense ... to have circumstances in which India and
China march shoulder to shoulder."
He added: "I don't think it is necessary for either India or China to
purchase its energy security at the expense of the other."
Such cooperation would be subject to information sharing between governments
and companies that could facilitate later commercial decisions, Aiyar said.