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India, China to double trade to $40 bn

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November 21, 2006 17:55 IST

India and China on Tuesday agreed to double bilateral trade to $40 billion by 2010 and encourage investment flows as part of measures to step up cooperation between the world's two fastest growing economies.

"They (India and China) shall make joint efforts to diversify their trade basket, remove existing impediments, and utilise the present and potential complementarities to sustain and strengthen bilateral commercial and economic cooperation," a joint declaration issued after the talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese President Hu Jintao, said.

Besides, a Joint Task Force has been told to expedite its study of the feasibility and benefits of India-China Regional Trading Arrangement and submit report by October 2007.

The two countries, which are rivals in the race to acquire oil and gas fields across the world, also agreed to implement the provisions of the Memorandum on Cooperation in oil and gas signed in January 2006.

They would encourage collaboration between their enterprises, including through joint exploration and development of hydrocarbon resources in third countries.

The Declaration said the two sides would step up the exchange of experience in agriculture and rural development, including food security, and hold discussions on the standards for agricultural goods to facilitate trade in such goods.

"As two large Asian states and as two of the fastest growing emerging economies of the world, cooperation between India and China transcends the bilateral and has global significance," Singh said in his statement.

"Jointly, our countries can make effective contributions in dealing with global issues of sustainable and equitable development, energy security, peace and prosperity in Asia and in the world, environment protection and the fight against terrorism and cross-border crime," he said.

Both the countries have also agreed to strengthen their cooperation in the World Trade Organisation.

"They (India and China) support the establishment of an open, fair, equitable, transparent and rule based multilateral trading system, early resumption of Doha negotiations, and are determined to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the developing countries," the joint declaration said.

As founder members of the G-20 and G-33, India and China would strengthen cooperation and coordinate with other members of the WTO, especially the developing countries, to secure an early resumption of the negotiations on Doha Work Programme, the declaration added.
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