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Rediff.com  » Business » India, China plan world's largest Free Trade Area

India, China plan world's largest Free Trade Area

April 08, 2005 14:31 IST
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will propose to establish the world's biggest Free Trade Area between China and India during his talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh next week.

A Sino-Indian free trade agreement is expected to be high on the agenda during Premier Wen Jiabao's four-day trip to India beginning on Saturday, a media report said on Friday.

An FTA agreement is likely to be one of the topics of negotiations to improve and facilitate bilateral economic co-operation between the two countries, China Daily reported.

China proposed an FTA with India during State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan's visit to New Delhi last October. If the Sino-Indian FTA comes into being, it will cover the largest number of people in the world, it noted.

The
Chinese Foreign Ministry indicated on Thursday that Wen would discuss the FTA issue with the Indian side during talks.

"To have closer economic cooperation between China and India serves the fundamental interests of the two sides. With the growth of economic cooperation and trade between the two countries, naturally the free trade zone has been put on the agenda," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in Beijing.

"I am sure during Premier Wen's visit to India, the leaders of the two countries will exchange ideas and have beneficial discussions on this. As to whether there will be an agreement concluded, it depends on the specific situation of discussion and talks," Qin said.

Wen and Singh are expected to meet on April 11.
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