India, China partners in growth, not rivals

Shenzhen, Mar 29 | Updated: Mar 30 2007, 05:30am hrs
With the India versus China comparison gaining currency, finance minister P Chidambaram on Thursday said New Delhi does not view Beijing as a rival but as a partner for making the Asian Century a reality.

This century promises to be the Asian century. China and India are leading the drive to make this century the Asian century, he said, inaugurating the first full-fledged branch of Bank of India (BOI) here.

Referring to Chinas stupendous economic growth that has even touched 13% in the peak years after reforms of 1978, Chidambaram said he was confident India too would be able to do it over the next 10 to 20 years.

Many other countries, envious of China or India, may regard this as China vs India. We do not do so. We regard it as China and India, working together to make this century an Asian century, he said.

He emphasised that relations between India and China in trade, commerce, business, diplomacy and in people-to-people exchanges should strengthen in the years to come.

Chidamabaram noted that bilateral trade in 2006 grew to a record $25 billion and there exists greater scope for the businesses of the two countries to cooperate more with the setting up of more financial institutions like banks in both countries.

He was confident that the Bank of India branch in Shenzhen, one of Chinas fastest growing cities, would be able to tap into the booming bilateral trade and grow faster.