Speech by H.E. Mr. Zhang Yan at Sichuan-India Trade and Economic Cooperation Promotion Seminar
2011-04-30 18:42

His Excellency Mr. Jiang Jufeng, Governor of Sichuan Province,

Honorable Mr. Atul, Assistant Secretary-General of FICCI,

Ms. Sushismita Palai, Director of Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India,

Friends from Business Community and Media,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure for me to attend the Sichuan-India Trade and Economic Cooperation Promotion Seminar today. I would like, on behalf of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in India, to extend warm welcome to the friends from Chinese and Indian business communities.

China and India enjoy time honored history of friendship characterized by friendly exchanges, mutual inspiration. In recent years, the bilateral relations have witnessed an all round development. Last year, two countries marked the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties. The high level interaction has culminated with successful visits by the Indian President Pratibha Patil to China and the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to India. Cooperation in political, economic, cultural, education fields and in science and technology are expanding steadily. People-to-people exchanges are also growing. Furthermore, two countries enjoy very good cooperation and coordination in international affairs. I am of the view that China-India relation is at the best period today.

China-India trade and economic cooperation is the highlight of our bilateral relations. In spite of the adverse effect of world financial crisis, the trade and economic relation between our two countries has maintained strong momentum of growth. Over the past 10 years, the bilateral trade volume increased nearly 20 times. The trade target of 60 billion USD was surpassed last year. In the recent three years, the two way investment between China and India has also increased by 10 times. Two countries have become major trade partners of each other. In the first three months of this year, the two way trade has exceeded 17 billion USD, 25% higher than the corresponding period of last year. It serves as a very good beginning in our efforts to achieve the new target of 100 billion USD set by our leaders for 2015.

Ladies and Gentlemen

Only about ten days ago, the third BRICS leaders meeting was held in Sanya, China. Leaders of emerging economies gathered together and discussed the world economic situation, and reached a broad consensus on strengthening cooperation among five countries to jointly meet the challenges posed by the global economy. On the sidelines, Chinese President Hu Jintao met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Two leaders agreed to further deepen China-India strategic cooperative partnership. Prime Minister Singh pointed out that economic and trade cooperation is the cornerstone for the two countries' strategic cooperation. President Hu Jintao suggested that the two sides should further expand economic and trade cooperation for mutual benefit. Two leaders officially launched the Year of China-India Exchange.

During the Year of Exchange, among others, both sides will hold the first strategic economic dialogue, and expand trade and investment cooperation. The seminar today, Sichuan-Indian Trade and Economic Cooperation Promotion Seminar is also part of the Exchange Programme.

Sichuan Province lies in south west of China. It is one of the most populated provinces in China and abundant in natural resources. At the same time, Sichuan enjoys geographical advantage in connecting South-Asia with the rest part of China. We are delighted to see already a vigorous development in trade and investment cooperation between Sichuan and India in recent years. In 2010, total volume of import and export between Sichuan and India reached 1.2 billion USD. By 2010, India's FDI in Sichuan is more than 10 million USD. In IT cooperation, WIPRO has developed a global R&D and delivery center in Sichuan, and NIIT has set up Outsourcing Software School in Chengdu Hi-tech Industrial Development Zone. On the other hand, Sichuan enterprises such as Dongfang Electric Corporation have made India one of its important overseas markets. There are 16 large thermal power projects under construction by Sichuan companies, with contract amount of 5.56 billion USD. Moreover, since February 2010, Air China has opened a new service that links Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan and Bangalore directly.

I am of the view that, Sichuan and India still have great potential for cooperation. India has expertise in software, financial service, pharmaceutical etc., while Sichuan excels in agriculture, machinery manufacture, electronics, food processing etc. both sides can complement each other by turning respective potentials in to substantive cooperation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

China and India, as two fast emerging economies, have become powerful engine of the global economy. Furthermore, China just launched the 12th Five Year Plan which will open more opportunities for Indian and other countries. With combined 2.5 billion population, 22 per cent world GDP, huge market and continuously expanding economy, China and India cooperation will not only bring tangible benefits to our two peoples, but also to the development and prosperity of t he world.

At Present, China and India are facing unprecedented opportunity of development. Both sides should take a long term and strategic perspective on our bilateral relations. What we need is not only good vision but also firm actions. As the late Chinese leader Mr. Deng Xiaoping said, the 21st century would not be the Asian Century if China and India are not developed. I believe that China and India are ready to work together to turn his words into reality.

I wish the seminar a great success.

Thank you!

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