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World big enough for India, China: Wen

New Delhi, December 15, 2010

Chinese Premier Wen  Jiabao arrived in India on Wednesday and said the world was  big enough for both Asian giants to prosper as partners, not  competitors.    

"China and India are partners for co-operation, not  rivals in competition. There is enough space in the world for  the development of China and India," Wen told business leaders  at the India-China Business Cooperation Summit in New  Delhi.

"The fast economic growth between China and India has  been an important engine for the world economy."     

In remarks seen as an effort to soothe tensions  between the two rivals, who still distrust each other, Wen  said Chinese companies would sign deals with Indian firms  worth more than $16 billion ranging from power equipment to  telecoms gear.

Wen's visit is the first by a Chinese premier in  five years and he brings with him more than 400 business  executives. The two countries, home to more than a third  of the world's population, fought a war in 1962 and relations  remain uneasy despite their booming trade relationship and  rising global clout.     

Both have stood together to resist Western demands in  world trade and climate change talks, but they have also  clashed over China's close relationship with Pakistan, fears  of Chinese spying and a longstanding border dispute.

"Impressive business delegations have accompanied Barack  Obama and David Cameron, but when the Wen circus rolls into  town with 100 of China's top tycoons, the red carpet needs to  be a bit longer," said a commentary in the Hindustan Times.

"Let trade do the talking, other issues that add to the  trust deficit will hopefully get addressed on the way."     

Wen is the latest in a series of world leaders  visiting India to seek great access to its economy, set to  expand by around 9 percent in 2010/11.    

US, French and Chinese leaders have clinched deals  worth almost $50 billion in total with India in the past few  weeks.    

Wen announced more Chinese investments in India to assuage  the worries of Indian politicians, peeved that the Sino-Indian  trade balance is heavily in China's favour. Wen also said he would discuss with his Indian counterpart  Manmohan Singh ways to substantially increase trade volumes   and may open up the Chinese economy to Indian IT,  pharmaceutical and agricultural companies.    

Wen also asked India to ease restrictions on  investments, capital flows and the movement of people.  India's deficit with China could reach $24-25  billion this year, analysts said. The deficit rose to $16  billion in 2007-08, from $1 billion in 2001-02, according to  Indian customs data.

India has sought to diversify its trade basket, but raw  materials and other low-end commodities such as iron ore still  make up about 60 percent of its exports to China. - Reuters




Tags: economy | China | India | growth | Wen |

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