China, India urged to step up co-operation

By Wang Xu (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-11-02 05:49

China and India should establish more co-operation mechanisms in order to complement their strengths, senior business leaders said in Beijing yesterday.

"China and India should establish more channels between each other, as they have similar problems to address in the coming years, such as creating more jobs and dealing with urbanization," said Surin Pitsuwan, Thailand's former foreign minister.

Pitsuwan made the comments on the sidelines of the BusinessWeek CEO Forum in Beijing. The event, organized by the US magazine, attracted about 50 global and Asian business leaders from all over the world.

China and India, now two of the world's fastest growing major economies, have been the driving forces of global economic growth in recent years. For the past two decades, China has been growing at around 10 per cent a year, and India by 6 per cent far greater than the global average.

"The growth has been impressive and due to their performance real per capita income growth has doubled every seven years since the 1990s," said Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, economic adviser of MasterCard Worldwide.

"Yet, the two countries will have to address a number of problems to sustain robust long-term growth," said Wong.

China currently accounts for 21 per cent of the world's population and India for 19 per cent. Their huge populations require the two countries to keep growing rapidly to provide jobs for the tens of millions entering the workforce every year, according to Wong.

Meanwhile, companies from the two developing countries may have to compete with each other as they are both relying heavily on the manufacturing industries to take advantage of their low labour costs, economists said.

(China Daily 11/02/2006 page9)

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