India, China complete FTA feasibility study: Minister

October 11th, 2008 - 1:21 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 10 (IANS) India and China have completed a feasibility study on their proposed Free Trade Agreement, a pact that will not only benefit them but also a number of other countries in the region, visiting Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng said here Friday.”A feasibility study of the Free Trade Agreement between India and China has already been completed,” Gao told a select media gathering here.

The feasibility study now awaits the approval of the leadership of the two countries to take it to the next level so that steps to conclude the Free Trade Agreement can be taken at the earliest.

“According to the study, the Free Trade Agreement between India and China can greatly benefit the two countries and their economies,” the Chinese vice minister said.

Gao, heading a 60-member strong business and trade delegation from China, arrived here Thursday for talks with the Indian leadership and business community on ways to strengthen the growing economic and trade ties between the two countries.

China is now India’s largest trading partner and two-way trade between the two sides is already at over $37.9 billion. But most experts feel the pace at which the trade has been growing, it will cross the $40 billion mark by the year end and perhaps even cross $50 billion by next year.

The trade imbalance is at $9 billion in China’s favour.

Gao will be present at a ceremony on Saturday where contracts worth “millions of dollars” will be signed between Chinese business enterprises and Indian companies.

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