Speech at the India-China Business Conclave (New Delhi) by H.E. Mr.Shao Qiwei, Leader of the Chinese Business Delegation
(By Chinese Embassy in India)
2004/08/03

Honorable Your Excellency Mr. Kamal Nath, Minister of Commerce and Industry of India,
Honorable Your Excellency Mr. Hua Junduo, Chinese Ambassador to India,
Honorable Mr. Sunil Kant Munjal, President of the Confederation of Indian Industry,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, my colleagues and I are very much delighted to attend the India-China Business Conclave held in New Delhi, the capital city of the beautiful, mysterious, and ancient oriental country of India. Please allow me, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, to express gracious thanks to the cordial invitation extended by the Confederation of India Industry (CII).

In recent years, frequent exchanges of high-level visits between China and India have enhanced the traditional friendship between the two countries and promoted bilateral trade and economic cooperation. In June of 2003, former Indian Prime Minister A. B. Vajpayee paid an official visit to China at the invitation of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. The two countries signed the Joint Declaration on Principles for Relations and Comprehensive Cooperation between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of India, which marks that bilateral relationship has entered a new stage.

The Chinese Government attaches great importance to developing trade and economic cooperation relationship with India and strongly encourages Chinese enterprises to go global and seek opportunities of cooperation and development and explore market in our friendly neighbors including India. The Indian Government also renders strong support to bilateral cooperation between India and China. An ever-increasing number of Indian enterprises have shown special interest in and surging enthusiasm to developing Sino-Indian trade and economic cooperation. There exist economic complementarities and enormous development potential between China and India. Prior to the1990s, major exports from China to India were manufactured products and semi-finished products while major exports from India to China were primary and semi-finished products. Since mid 1990s, significant changes have taken place in the trading structure between the two countries with the growth rate of the trade volume of manufactured products surpassing that for primary products. Such change in bilateral trading structure is conducive to a balanced expansion of bilateral trade. At present, major commodities exported from China to India are telecommunication equipment, organic chemical products, textiles, medicinal products, electric power generation equipment, coal and coke, raw materials for textile, light industry products, and metal products. Major Indian exports to China are iron ore and other metal minerals, plastic products, iron and steel products, organic chemical products, textiles, non-metallic minerals, medicinal products, sea products, leather, etc. In the year of 1990, trade volume between China and India stood at 260 million US dollars only but has grown to5 billion US dollars in 2002 and 7.6 billion US dollars in 2003. This year, Sino-Indian trade has shown a stronger growth momentum with the trade volume reaching 6.67 billion US dollars in the first six months, an increase of 93.1% over the same period of last year. Sino-Indian Cooperation has not only achieved new breakthroughs in the field of trade but also expanded to various sectors of economy and society. By the year of 2003, the accumulated actual two-way investment has exceeded 100 million US dollars. Huawei Technologies, Haier Group and other Chinese companies investing in India have achieved success in Indian market. In addition, extensive cooperation between both sides has also been conducted in engineering and labor services contracting, science and technology, and other areas. The good momentum of development shows that enormous latent potential lies in Sino-Indian bilateral cooperation.

Of course, we have also noted that certain difficulties and problems still exist in bilateral trade and economic cooperation. Mutual understanding and mutual support from the governments and the business communities of both two countries are required in order to address these difficulties and problems. I propose that
China and India should take positive measures in the following areas to speed up bilateral cooperation:

Firstly , Governments of the two countries should work out appropriate economic and trade policies to further support and promote bilateral economic and trade cooperation;

Secondly, chambers of commerce and the business communities of the two countries could strengthen and promote mutual exchanges, mutual understanding, and mutual trust through holding international seminars and commodities fairs
and conducting business talks and exchanges of business visits;

Thirdly, apart from bilateral trade, we should pursue cooperation in various fields such as promoting two-way investment, facilitating engineering and labor services contracting, strengthening technical cooperation and increasing exchanges in tourism and transportation;

Fourthly, since China and India are friendly neighbors, the border areas of the two countries enjoy unique geographical location advantages. Therefore, we should actively promote general trade, transit trade, and border trade and pursue cooperation between the neighboring provinces and states, such as the cooperation between Yunnan Province of China and the West Bengal State of India.

As the Vice Governor of Yunnan Province, taking this opportunity, I would like to give you a short briefing on Yunnan Province. Situated in the Southwest frontier region of China , Yunnan Province covers an area of 394,000 square kilometers and has a total population of more than 43minion. Put it simply, the characteristics can be described as the following : Firstly, enjoying abundant natural resources, Yunnan is well-known as China's "Kingdom of Plants", "Kingdom of Wildlife", "Kingdom of Non-ferrous Metals" and "Asia's Reservoir". Secondly, Because of its advantageous geographical location and sound transport infrastructure, Yunnan is an important gateway of China to South and Southeast Asia. Thirdly, the national economy of Yunnan is in a period of rapid development and its economic strength is being strengthened rapidly. Fourthly, Yunnan has enjoyed long-term historical trade relations with India and the trade volume with India has been growing fast. At the time when China is implementing the development of the western region strategy in an all-round way, Yunnan Province is giving full play to its own strengths in an effort to expand international cooperation. As a country of great significance in South Asia, India is a very important partner of us. We sincerely invite people of the Indian business community to visit Yunnan, to conduct exchanges, to discuss trade, to make investment, and to conduct cooperation with us. The Provincial Government of Yunnan will provide its help and support in various ways.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), serving as important institutions for economic, trade, and investment promotion of the two countries, have been making efforts to strengthen Sino-Indian Economic and trade cooperation. This meeting provides a valuable opportunity for the business communities of the two countries. I believe both sides will achieve remarkable results in the fields of trade, investment, industrial sectoral cooperation, and information exchanges. As the leader of the Chinese Business delegation, I sincerely hope delegates from both sides can cooperate with each other and make joint efforts so as to contribute to the promotion of the friendship and bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

Finally, I wish every success to the India-China Business Conclave! May I also wish good health and success in your career and life to all the friends!

Thank you.


 

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