The world’s two fastest-growing economies, China and India, have agreed to substantially increase their trade links. The two largest developing countries pledged to increase total trade between them to forty billion euros annually by 2010.
Indian Trade Minister Kamal Nath said they have the power to drive the world’s economy: “The strength of the Indian and Chinese economies in the global economy are very important aspects in resisting a global slowdown. Previously, when they said the United States sneezes, the world catches a cold. In times to come, it’s going to be that that will apply, in the next decade, for India and China.”
India and China have experienced red hot GDP growth: China hitting a estimated 11.5% growth last year, with that predicted to fall to 10% in 2008. India brought growth down to an estimated 8.9% in 2007 and hopes to hold it at 8.4% this year.
But there are trade differences between the world’s two most populous countries. During the talks India has pushed China to address their bilateral trade imbalance which is increasingly skewed in China’s favour, however Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stressed that “competition is not inconsistent with cooperation, nor is it adversarial.”