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China pitches for boosting trade with India

BANGALORE: Chinese Ambassador to India Wei Wei today pitched for expandingtrade in services, promoting two-way investment and enhancing cooperation in infrastructure development to reach the trade target of $ 100 billion by 2015 set by the two countries. 

Acknowledging that trade imbalance between the two countries was "still serious", causing widespread concern in India, Wei said 
China had taken "positive measures" to expand imports from the country and joint efforts could help achieve overall balance and sustainable development in bilateral trade. 

He said bilateral economic and trade cooperation between China and India had witnessed a steady development with the volume reaching $ 66.5 billion in 2012, a 250 times jump over $ 260 million in 1990, but the scale of bilateral investment was "so small" causing concerns of both sides. 

In his address to the Bangalore Chamber of Industry and Commerce, he also said the two sides still needed to continue to work together not only to release "positive energy" in the area of bilateral friendship but also to enhance trust and dispel doubts on specific issues. 

"I believe that sensitive issues in bilateral relations such as those on border and cross-border rivers, 
Tibet and trade imbalances can be properly addressed on the basis of mutual trust," he said. 

"...the more profound mutual trust the two countries and two peoples have, the better our relationship will develop," Wei said. 

Listing out the various steps required to hit the $ 100 billion trade target by 2015, Wei said expanding trade in services would help compensate for India's trade deficit in goods with China and balance bilateral trade. 

Seeking promotion of two-way investment, Wei said according to statistical data of both sides, as in April 2013, the cumulative Sino-India bilateral investment was less than $ 1.3 billion. 

"It does not match our economic scales, growth rate or cooperation potential," he said and expressed hope that 
Indian government could provide a favourable investment environmentfor Chinese enterprises. 

On enhancing infrastructure development, he said, according to 
12th Five-Year Plan, India would invest $ one trillion in infrastructure development. China, with advantages in technology, human resources, capital and experience in terms of infrastructure construction, could help India to improve its infrastructure. 

Wei also called for strengthening cultural exchanges to enhance mutual understanding between the people of the two countries.