China-India Trade Ties Strengthened

With trade amounting to $66 billion in 2012, China is currently one of India’s largest trading partners, and trade talks this week between China’s Premier Li Keqiang and India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh included strategies to push that figure up to $100 billion per annum by 2015. Agreements were reached for bilateral cooperation on large-scale projects, as well as for establishing an economic corridor between China, India (both members of BRICS), Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Following the ceremonial reception held for Premier Li in New Delhi, he stated in an interview that development of prosperity in the world required “cooperation and simultaneous development of China and India” going on to say that discussions have achieved multiple and significant outcomes. It has been reported that on the second day of Li’s visit to India the two countries signed eight agreements of cooperation and development. On the agenda for discussion was trading in yuan, rather than the US$ which is currently used. In line with promoting China’s currency for international trade, China already has currency-swap agreements with Australia, Brazil, Turkey, South Korea and Hong Kong, as well as the Bank of England.

A delegation of representatives from China’s telecommunications and banking sectors, as well as influential business leaders accompanied the Chinese Premier on his first trip to India. The delegation included representatives from ZTE, Huawei, Aviation Industry Corporation of China, China Development Bank Corp, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China Harbor Engineering Company Group.

India is the first overseas destination to be visited by Premier Li Keqiang since he took office. He will also be visiting Pakistan, Switzerland and Germany. In the wake of the recent issues between the two countries over the disputed Ladakh region in eastern Kashmir, where India alleged that Chinese troops had entered Indian territory, resulting in a standoff between Indian and Chinese troops that lasted three weeks, Li noted that his visit will “show the whole world that the mutual political trust between China and India is rising, practical cooperation is expanding and there are more common interests than differences.”