India-China trade crosses $10 bn
Tuesday, 21 December 2004, 08:00 Hrs
NEW DELHI :Bilateral trade between India and China has crossed the $10 billion mark for the first time, with impressive growth of 82.5 percent in the first 10 months of this year, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath has said. In an interview to Shanghai daily Wen Hui, Kamal Nath said efforts to boost economic relations between the two largest democracies had started paying off with bilateral trade touching $10.84 billion during January-October, 2004. Even on a fiscal year basis, the two-way trade between the two countries is set to cross the $10 billion mark during 2004-05, he said. The commerce minister underlined in the interview that the present level of India-China trade was still not commensurate with the potential given the enormous size of the two countries. India's exports to China, in particular, focussed mainly on primary commodities, necessitating an urgent need to expand the current export basket with a stress on value-added exports to increase India's commercial presence in China. China's global trade amounted to $851 billion during 2003, but India-China trade turnover during 2003-04 was only of the order of $7 billion, which is not even one percent of China's global trade, Kamal Nath said. India and China represent an important force in world trade and should forge closer trade and economic ties based on the complementarities of their two economies, he added.