Wen says world big enough for India, China growth

NEW DELHI, (Reuters) – Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao   began a visit to India yesterday, pledging to improve   market access for Indian companies and insisting the world was   big enough for both Asian giants to prosper as partners.

Wen said he was looking forward to an early launch of   negotiations for a free trade agreement between the world’s   two fastest-growing major economies, despite Indian worries   that it might be a dumping ground for cheap manufactured goods   from China.

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

“China takes seriously the trade imbalance between our two   countries,” Wen said, adding that 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.
“The fast economic growth between China and India has been    an important engine for the world economy.”

In remarks seen as an effort to play down 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 300 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.

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 asked India to ease restrictions on investments,   capital flows and the movement of people, a thorny subject.
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.

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