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India wants closer trade ties: Envoy

2010-08-19 09:06

SHANGHAI - China's status as the world's second largest economy will help facilitate Sino-India trade ties, a senior Indian diplomat said on Wednesday.

"We will take the task of building a stronger economic relationship with China even more seriously," S. Jaishankar, Indian ambassador to China, told China Daily on Wednesday during his visit to celebrate the India National Pavilion Day at Expo 2010 Shanghai.

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India wants closer trade ties: Envoy

China's economy overtook Japan as the world's second largest on Monday, when Japan said its economic output in the second quarter stood at $1.28 trillion compared to the $1.335 trillion China reported for the same period.

"As the Chinese economy continues to grow, there should be more opportunities for Indian businesses in China," Jaishankar said.

China has been India's largest trading partner since 2008. Bilateral trade between the two countries has grown explosively, from below $3 billion in 2000 to $51.47 billion in 2008, despite a reduction in 2009 due to the global financial crisis.

"We estimate that the two neighbors' trade volume will exceed $60 billion in 2010," Jaishankar said. Bilateral trade stood at $35.46 billion for the first seven months of the year.

"We believe there is considerable potential for expanding bilateral trade," he said, adding that there are big opportunities for Chinese companies in India, particularly for developing infrastructure, an area in which China has strong capabilities.

India also looks forward to being treated with similar openness from businesses in China, expecting more Chinese firms to use India's services and products in the information technology, pharmaceutical and green energy sectors where India's strength lies, the ambassador said.

"Looking at the size of the two economies and the potentials for trade and commerce, there is still a long way to go from what we have achieved, though it has been satisfactory so far," said Subas Pani, chairman of the India Trade Promotion Organization.

Early this year, India had banned Chinese toy and telecom equipment from being imported into the country, which led to tension between the two neighbors. In June, India decided to conditionally lift its ban on Chinese telecom equipment.

"Both of us today have an interest in ensuring that nothing happens to constrain our development," Jaishankar said. "An emphasis on competition is not in the interests of either China or India."

Commenting on the Expo, the ambassador said the India Pavilion was impressive, especially its bamboo dome, which paid tribute to the Expo's theme of "better city, better life".

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