Remarks at Interactive Business Meeting with Delegation from Shaanxi Provincial People's Congress Organized by FICCI

Mr. Li Jianguo, Chairman of the Standing Committee of Shaanxi Provincial People's Congress,

Mr. Joshi, Lieutenant Governor of Delhi,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to attend today's meeting. Please allow me to extend a very warm welcome to Mr. Li Jianguo and his delegation on their goodwill visit to India.

I would also like to express my sincere thanks to FICCI for your efforts to promote the economic and trade relations between China and India.

In recent years, China and India witnessed remarkable progress in promoting bilateral relations

In 2005, China and India established the Strategic and Cooperative Partnership for Peace and Prosperity.

And the leaders of the two countries announced the year 2006 as China-India Friendship Year.

The top leaders interacted with each other frequently on different occasions.

The governments of the two countries held all kinds of activities successfully to celebrate the China-India Friendship Year.

We also made new progress in the cooperation of culture, science and technology, defense and so on.

We are expecting even more important event to further enhance cooperation between our two countries within this year.

The bilateral economic and trade cooperation is striding rapidly.

From 1990 to 2005, the bilateral trade has grown from US$ 260 million to US$ 18.7 billion, and increased 72 times in a short period of 15 years.

I am happy to see that this good trend is maintaining.

According to the China's statistics, Sino-Indian trade in first seven month of 2006 has reached $ 13.6 billion, an increase of 27 percentages over the same period last year.

I am confident that the trade target of US$ 20 billion by 2008 set by the leaders of the two countries will be achieved by the end of this year.

The China-India border trade through Nathula Pass was re-opened in July 2006. It provides a new channel for the bilateral trade.

Every year, China and India exchange more than 100 business delegations to seek opportunities for investment.

More than 150 Indian enterprises, including Ranbaxy, TCS, Infosys, have set up sub-companies or representative offices in China. They are working on over one thousand projects.

About 50 Chinese companies have also established sub-companies, representative offices and project offices in India.

The are constructing telecommunication net, power plants, roads, airports and so on.

In April of this year, China and India initiated the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement.

It will provide a strong basis for the sustainable, stable and healthy economic cooperation and diversification of trade and investment between the two countries.

Although great progress has between made in economic and trade cooperation, there is still huge potentials for us to explore.

I hope that the joint efforts made by both sides, including everyone present, will push the economic and trade cooperation to a new high.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Shaanxi Province has long history and rich culture.

It is also the country's major scientific and technological base.

The provincial economy is developing vigorously and overtaking many eastern regions in some fields.

More and more overseas enterprises are rushing there to look for business opportunities.

We organize the "Shaanxi Culture Week" as an important program of the China-India Friendship Year.

The interactive business meeting is an important component of "Shaanxi Culture Week".

I strongly believe that it will enhance mutual awareness and promote commercial exchanges between Shaanxi and India.

With these words, I wish "Shaanxi Culture week" a success.

Thank you!

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