NEW DELHI, March 31 (Xinhua) -- The 11th meeting of the China-India Joint Group on Economic Relations, Trade, Science and Technology held here recently has brought in new opportunities for deepening bilateral economic and trade cooperation.
Trade has grown steadily over the past few years, providing mutual benefits to both countries.
China and India have a combined population of nearly 2.6 billion, accounting for over 35 percent of the world's population, and contribute about 20 percent of global GDP.
In sharp contrast, bilateral trade accounts for only a small proportion of the global total. Areas such as trade, investment, infrastructure, information technology, the Internet, cultural tourism, health care, and many other fields hold great potential for cooperation.
More importantly, the economies of both countries are highly complementary to each other.
For example, China can provide technology and financial support for India to build and improve upon its infrastructure, while India is strong in IT and pharmaceuticals.
China's private investment in India has grown steadily in recent years. With the transfer of some labor-intensive industries, more jobs have been created in India.
BOOST IN TRADE
China-India economic and trade cooperation have witnessed remarkable results.
The two countries have supported each other to ensure global trade remains multilateral while pushing for stronger regional economic integration. Together, India and China have made important contributions in the establishment of a new international economic order while safeguarding the interests of developing countries.
According to official figures from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, China's trade with India reached a record high of 84.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, up 20.3 percent from the previous year.
China remains India's largest trading partner.
Chinese companies have invested more than 8 billion dollars in real investment, and Indian companies have increased their investment in China by an average of 18.5 percent over the past three years.
According to Sudheendra Kulkarni, the former chairman of think-tank Observer Research Foundation (Mumbai), economic and trade cooperation between China and India could soon top 100 billion dollars.
Chinese smart phone makers have seen success in the Indian market, and it is expected that Chinese Internet companies could have a huge role to play in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious project "Digital India."
Observers point out that China and India agree more than they disagree on a number of issues, and that has bolstered trust between the two giants.
At present, focus should be on mutual understanding rather than mutual suspicion.
At the 11th meeting of China-India Joint Group on Economic Relations, Trade, Science and Technology which was held on Monday, both sides agreed to work together on China's Belt and Road Initiative, the "Make in India" movement, and the "Digital India" project.
The two sides further decided to address their trade imbalance and expand investment.
Recently, a Chinese trade delegation visited India. During the visit, Chinese and Indian companies signed as many as 101 trade agreements with a total contract value of 2.38 billion dollars, covering black tea, castor oil, peppermint oil, coconut fiber, coffee beans and other products.
The agreements not only illustrate China's determination to further open up to the world, but also reflect the country's great interest in the Indian market.