'China keen on FTA with India'

China and India should work together to have a free trade agreement (FTA) to strengthen economic cooperation and trade, a Chinese expert said here Wednesday.

"Both the countries should consider an FTA at the right time to strengthen the economic cooperation between the two most populous and fastest developing countries of the world," said Zhang Yansheng, secretary general, academic committee, National Development and Reform Commission of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

"The two-way trade between China and India is around $73.9 billion," said Zhang, one of the delegates from China at a conference on 'Implications of the Change in Leadership in PRC: Internal and External Dimensions', organised by the Observer Research Foundation here.

According to Zhang, the trade relations between China and India would also help to achieve a model for South-South Cooperation and greater role for both the countries in the global economy.

Zhang said China was shifting from an investment and export-driven market to innovation-driven economy to double its gross domestic product and per capita income.

He said the role of the government was also being shifted to focussing on providing public service, security and stability.

Zhang's views were corroborated by Huang Huaguang, director general, research office, International Department of the CPC.
"Both the countries should strengthen strategic communication and coordination and improve economic and trade cooperation and people-to-people contacts."

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