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China considers trade contracts in India
Updated: 2006-03-19 16:30

BOMBAY, India -- Chinese businesses are eyeing big investments and trade contracts in India in hopes of cashing in on lucrative opportunities in the neighboring country, China's commerce minister said Sunday.

The Chinese interest was evident at a weekend conference in Bombay, which was attended by some 1,000 corporate executives from around the world and a fifth of them came from mainland China and Hong Kong.

"We believe the economic potential of India will continue to grow," said Commerce Minister Bo Xilai, who was heading about 200 Chinese delegates to the conference. "Thats why Chinese businesses are paying attention."

With growth close to 8 percent, India is the world's fastest expanding economy after China.

Bo said many of China's top companies are keen to invest in India, especially in infrastructure projects, where the country needs huge investments in order to sustain the current economic boom.

Senior executives from companies such as Shanghai Electric Power Generation Group, information technology company ZTE Corp. and China Corporation Bank were attending the conference hosted by the Asia Society and the Confederation of Indian Industry, India's largest business grouping.

"We have a lot to learn from each other," Bo said. "China has a lot to offer in infrastructure development to India and we can learn (from India) about developing software, information technology and how to improve the services sector."

Earlier last week, Xilai held talks with Indian officials in New Delhi and proposed an ambitious to more than treble two-way trade between the giant Asian neighbors to $50 billion in five years.

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