Remarks by H.E. Ambassador ZHANG Yan at the 81st Annual General Meeting of ICC India
March 23rd, 2012, New Delhi
（From Chinese Embassy in Indian）
Dr. Kaushik Basu, chief Economic Adivisor, Ministry of Finance,
Mr. Raghu Mody, President of ICC
Mr. Hari Shankar Singhania, Former President of ICC
Mr. Jean-Guy Carrier, Secretary General of ICC
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is indeed a great pleasure for me to attend this gathering, the 81st Annual General Meeting of ICC India and have an opportunity to interact with you. Firstly, I would like to thank the Chamber for what you have done over the years in promoting China-India economic and trade cooperation. My thanks also go to all friends present here for your long-standing and valuable support to the development of China-India cooperative relations.
Today, I am expected to speak on China-India economic cooperation. It's indeed a very hot topic nowadays. And I have a lot to say. To make a long story short, I will focus on few points.
First,China and India are two fast growing economies. They have been widely regarded as the powerhouse of world economy. The economic performance of the two countries not only affects the wellbeing of the people of two countries but also has direct bearing on the world economic future. Therefore, to ensure a stable and healthy growth of our two economies in itself is a great contribution to the world. It is encouraging to note that so far the forecast from various sources, though there are negative views, in general is optimistic.
Second, how is the status of China and India economic cooperation? Thanks to the joint efforts of governments, business communities and people of both countries, economic and trade cooperation has made remarkable headway in recent years, the scope and scale of bilateral economic cooperation have been continuously expanding.
Against the turbulent world economic and financial situation, two countries have worked together to withstand the challenges and ensure a sustained and healthy development of our respective economy. Last year, Sino-Indian bilateral trade volume reached USD73.9 billion. China has become the largest trade partner of India, and India is China's largest trade partner in South Asia. Furthermore, mutual investments are also growing with fast pace. Up to January 2012, the mutual accumulative investments have touched more than USD 1 billion. And it is encouraging to see that more and more Chinese enterprises are showing interests to come and invest in India or enter into joint venture with Indian counterparts in various fields. With this said, I must confess the current level of our economic cooperation is far from being satisfactory or adequate.
Third, how is the prospect of our economic and trade cooperation? My assessment is positive. In view of the magnitude of population, the size of the market and rich human resources, great potentials exist for two economies to cooperate. More importantly, to uplift the living standard of our people, both Governments have made economic development their national priority. The leaders of two countries also give great importance and support to the bilateral economic cooperation. During Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to India in December 2010, two sides have set a new trade target of USD 100 billion by the year 2015 and agreed to expand the scope of our cooperation by extending it into transportation, infrastructure, telecommunication, tourism, banking and finance. It is a challenging task for us to accomplish these targets set by our leaders.
Fourth, what can we do to enhance our cooperation? I think the followings points are essential.
A. We should continue to deepen mutual understanding and trust, without which it will be difficult to establish meaningful partnership for cooperation. Apart from the exchange of visits at high level, we should also try to strengthen communication, increase the interaction between the business communities, so as to promote understanding and create a favorable environment for trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.
B. China and India are two diversified economies and can compliment each other in many ways. Each of our countries has its competitive edge. India is strong in IT, outsourcing service, pharmaceutical, financing sectors. While China has its strength in manufacturing, infrastructure development, and managing economic free zones, etc. We should learn from each other. If two countries joint hands, we will be able to develop our respective country even better, faster and more efficient.
C. We should also make an effort to diversify our trade and expand trade scope by finding new varieties of products, explore service trade, culture and tourism cooperation as well, with an aim to achieve a better trade mix and gradually minimize the trade imbalance. At the same time, both sides should guard against trade protectionism.
D. We should expand mutual investments. Both countries have just launched the 12th five year plans, during which two governments attach great importance to attract the foreign investment. It is Chinese government's policy to encourage those technically and financially competent companies to "go abroad" and invest overseas or establish joint ventures with partners from Indian and other countries. Nowadays, more and more Chinese companies have shown their interests in India. We also welcome Indian companies to invest in China. What they need is a conducive investment environment.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
China and India are partners in cooperation and partners for prosperity. It is my view that now is the opportune moment for the business communities of two countries to work together and cooperate with each other. What we need is a right mindset, right approach and bold action. ICC, as a chamber of commerce, can play an important role to bringing the business community of two countries together. I sincerely believe, with the efforts of both sides, especially people like you who are directly involved in business, China-India economic cooperation will continue to thrive and flourish. Thank you!