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Wen hopes India, China will work out FTA soon

Financial Express, India

Wen hopes India, China will work out FTA soon

4 April 2005

BEIJING, APRIL 4: Maintaining that establishment of a free trade area (FTA) between China and India has become a "logical agenda" item, Chinese premier Wen Jiabao has expressed the hope that the two sides will begin their feasibility study of FTA soon.

He said trade and economic relations between the two countries were growing rapidly with areas broadening and contents of co-operation deepening. "To move bilateral trade and economic ties to a new level, establishment of FTA has become a logical agenda item.

"A broader and deeper relationship in the economy and trade not only serves the two countries but will also accelerate the process of regional economic integration in Asia. I hope the two sides will soon begin their feasibility study of FTA," Mr Wen, who will be visiting India later this week, told PTI.

The Chinese leader said trade and economic co-operation between the two countries had grown rapidly. The two-way trade last year reached $13.6 billion, 13 times that of ten years ago, achieving the $10 billion target ahead of schedule. Mr Wen said bilateral co-operation in culture, science, technology, education, tourism and other areas had made a steady headway.

"Our countries see eye-to-eye on and share common interests on many international and regional issues, as demonstrated by the successful strategic dialogue we had for the first time," he said.