China and India can create a “mega-scale regional market” to tap the huge demand of over 2.5 billion people living in both the countries, a top Chinese planner said today. “China and India are only countries with over a billion population each with a huge market demand,” Li Wei, President of Development Research Centre (DRC), said at the third annual dialogue meeting with NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar.
“We can further integrate our markets at deeper level and form a mega scale regional market which will be very much significant to the development of our two countries,” Li said.
He called for integration of market of China with 1.4 billion people with that of India with 1.2 billion people. In the mega regional market, both the countries not only
can leverage their comparative advantage, “but we can create our new comparative advantages. In this, the two countries will be in a better position in global competition,” he said.
He also spoke briefly about China’s ambitious Belt and Road (BRI) initiative, saying India and China are both people hubs in the collective development of the BRI.
India has protested the USD 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a part of the BRI, as it passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
Li also called for India-China cooperation in working for global governance to safeguard the multilateral cooperation.
Strengthening cooperation between India and China will improve the multilateral regime and promote a new type of globalisation, he said.
China is loosing its competitive advantage due to a rise in labour wages which has forced the industries to shift their bases abroad, Li said.
“India has rich labour resources. Its population is young with the average age of 30 years. You have a strong competitiveness of achieving industrial transfers,” he said.
China is also weak in services while India is strong in the IT sector for which it is renowned globally. Cooperation can complement the advantages, Li added.
The DRC, under the State Council, China’s Cabinet, is the agency mainly responsible for doing research on strategic, long-term issues in China’s economic and social development.