China, India can build trust: Li

Date : 2013-05-21  | From : China Daily

Premier Li Keqiang meets his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Monday during his first foreign trip since taking office.

The two nations enjoy "far more common interests" than differences, he said after meeting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, adding that the countries will not harm one another, because neither will benefit from doing so.

Both nations have enough will, wisdom and capability to jointly create "new bright spots" in cooperation among Asian countries to provide a driving force for the world economy, Li said.

On the second day of his official visit to India — the first stop on Li's nine-day first foreign tour since taking office in March, China and India signed a joint statement and a series of agreements covering trade, culture and water resources.

The two nations proposed building an economic corridor across Myanmar and Bangladesh to connect two major economies in Asia. They also said they want to seek further cooperation in the development of industrial zones and public infrastructure projects.

Singh said, "We agreed that the relationship between our two economies is of growing significance and is essential for our peaceful development and sustained economic growth, as well as for stability and prosperity in our region and the world."

He said economic cooperation constitutes a very important part of the Sino-Indian relationship.

China is India's second- largest trading partner, while India is China's largest trading partner in South Asia. In 2012, the bilateral trade volume was about $70 billion, and the two countries have set a bilateral trade target of $100 billion by 2015.

But India has frequently expressed concerns over the trade deficit with China and has been an aggressive initiator of trade-remedy cases targeting China in past years.

In 2012, China's trade surplus with India was $28.87 billion, according to the General Administration of Customs.

The two countries decided to set up three groups under their Joint Economic Group to advance the bilateral service trade, trade planning and trade statistical analysis.

Long Guoqiang, director of foreign economic relations at the State Council Development Research Center, a high-level government think tank, said, "The two countries are more mutually complementary than they are mutually competitive. And there is large potential for their cooperation."

The proposed China-India-Myanmar-Bangladesh economic corridor would provide an innovative economic link between East Asia and South Asia, which could create huge demand for China and India and strengthen their economic growth, Long said.

"As the two biggest economies among emerging markets, China-India mutual development based on industrialization and urbanization will lead fast expansion of the BRICS countries and drive the recovery of the global economy," he added.