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China, India close to finalising trade agreement

Source: PTI
June 07, 2007 14:49 IST
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Amid record bilateral trade, China and India have reached "consensus" on goods and services trade, investment and facilitation of investment and economic cooperation as part of their proposed Regional Trading Agreement (RTA).

China and India are confident that their joint feasibility research on the RTA will be completed on schedule, China's Ministry of Commerce said in Beijing on Thursday.

During discussions here on June 4 and 5, both sides "fully" exchanged views and reached a consensus on goods and services trade, investment, facilitation of trade and investment and economic cooperation, the ministry said in a statement, without elaborating.

Both sides agreed to meet again in August in New Delhi and wrap up the joint research by October as the leaders of both countries required, it said. Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce, Yi Xiaozhun said that if China and India could agree on a trade arrangement, the vast east and south Asian markets would receive a significant boost while Asian economic integration would be facilitated.

The Indian and Chinese governments have set a target of achieving 40 billion US dollars in bilateral trade by 2010. In 2006, the two Asian giants achieved a bilateral trade of US$ 25 billion. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Chinese counterpart, Wen Jiabao initiated the joint feasibility research on RTA in April 2005 when the latter visited India.

New Delhi and Beijing have each held such consultations on the proposed RTA twice. China and its "all-weather" ally, Pakistan have already inked a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in November 2006.

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