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India, China reach `consensus` on key areas of RTAnews
07 June 2007

Mumbai: China and India have reached a consensus on goods and services trade, investment, facilitation of trade and investment and economic cooperation and are confident of completing the joint feasibility research on a regional trade agreement (RTA).

During discussions earlier this week, both sides "fully" exchanged views and reached a consensus, China`s commerce ministry said in a statement, without elaborating.

Both sides will meet again in August in New Delhi and wrap up the joint research by October as the leaders of both countries required, it said.

A China-India trade arrangement would give a significant boost to the vast East Asian and South Asian markets while facilitating Asian economic integration, Chinese vice-minister of commerce Yi Xiaozhun said.

During the first four months of the current year, trade between the two countries surged 56.8 per cent over the same period last year - the highest for all major trade partners of China - to $11.4 billion.

The Indian and Chinese governments have set a target of achieving $40 billion in bilateral trade by 2010. In 2006, the two Asian giants achieved a bilateral trade of $25 billion.

New Delhi and Beijing have each held such consultations twice after Chinese premier Wen Jiabao and Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh initiated the joint feasibility research in April 2005.

Meanwhile, India''s neighbour and a close ally of China arrived at a free trade agreement with China on in November 2006.

During discussions on the sidelines of the G-8 summit in Berlin, the two countries again called for stronger ties between the two.

Prime minister Manmohan Singh said New Delhi wanted the "strongest relationship" with Beijing and would do "everything possible" to cement the ties as he met president Hu Jintao here.

During their 30-minute meeting, Hu hailed Singh`s "insight and vision", saying it had helped bilateral relations in "most impressive way".

Meeting for the second time in seven months, the two leaders reviewed the status of bilateral ties, particularly progress on implementation of 10-point strategy agreed upon last November to boost the relations.

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India, China reach `consensus` on key areas of RTA