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Bilateral Trade Agreements Between China And India

Bilateral Trade Agreements Between China And India

21In addition to an exciting institutional framework, China and India have recently begun discussions on the development of a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA). This indicates their desire to go beyond the framework of the World Trade Organization, further reduce tariffs and eliminate non-tariff barriers28. Indeed, at their meeting on 21 to 22 March 2004, senior Chinese and Indian officials began the first round of discussions on the signing of a free trade agreement and a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement in Beijing. The idea was pursued during Prime Minister Wen Jiabao`s visit to India from 9 to 12 April 2005. However, unlike their government, some Chinese experts continue to worry. To quote a well-known South Asian expert, „although a free trade agreement between China and India is difficult to conclude in the short term, its importance for the creation of a multi-party regional free trade system is obvious, given the huge population and size of both countries.“29 Another Chinese expert believes that the strengthening of trade relations and complementary economic structures cannot guarantee the rapid establishment of a free trade agreement between the two countries“30. India issues its own reserves and the flooding of cheap Chinese products into Indian markets has also raised concerns in the Indian business community31. An interactive list of bilateral and multilateral free trade instruments is available on trend analytics. [59] During the discussions leading to the conclusion of the Trade Agreement between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the People`s Republic of China, it was agreed that the intentions of both Governments with respect to Article VI and the procedure for implementing that Agreement should be reflected in the Protocol by Exchange of Letters. 11 In the context of South Asia, China`s trade with India has grown impressively, defying all suspicions about China`s special relationship with Pakistan or India`s encirclement (see Figure 2). While they have not made it a major stumbling blocks, their broader search for energy sources abroad has recently been seen as an area that could pose a serious challenge to their economic engagement.12

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