Wen to visit India with biggest ever delegation

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will arrive in India next week with the biggest ever trade delegation of over 300 businessmen.

Last Updated: Dec 08, 2010, 15:57 PM IST

Beijing: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will
arrive in India next week with the biggest ever trade
delegation of over 400 businessmen, signalling that the focus
of his "landmark" visit would be to give further impetus to
the already booming bilateral trade.

Officials on both sides say that in many ways the
visit of 68-year-old veteran Chinese leader would be a trend
setter in bilateral ties like his last visit in 2005, which
saw relations surging forward specially on trade front which
this year is expected to touch a record USD 60 billion.

The Sino-India trade tottered around USD 18.71 billion
in 2005, it already crossed USD 49.84 billion this October
with Indian exports alone touching along USD 17 billion, while
China continue to have a sway with 32.87 billion worth of
exports.

During his three-day visit from December 15, Wen is
expected to announce initiatives to address trade deficit
which also touched a record USD 15.9 billion this year to
provide more access to Indian products in Chinese markets.

The scale of bilateral trade in one way reflects the
extent Sino-India relations travelled since 2005 says Indian
Ambassador to China S Jaishankar.

"The visit in a sense is to expand common ground. We
have to demonstrate cooperation on the ground in all its
manifestations. We have come a long way and we have to find
practical ways of cooperation, which will finally shape public
perception of the state of the ties," Jaishankar, who is
holding extensive consultations with top Chinese officials to
make preparations for Wen`s visit, said.

As the two countries strive to narrow down the
differences, they have to seek a common ground to manage the
relationship.

"We have to manage our differences and maximise our
opportunities," he said, declining to go into differences
relating to host of issues which officials of the two
countries feverishly trying to sort out following the meeting
between Wen and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in October.

Wen`s visit will once again bring together the two
Prime Ministers, what Jaishankar describes as meeting between
"two great pragmatists".

It appears that one has to wait to know about the
"major take-aways" of the visit as preparations are still
continuing.

Speculation is rife that the two countries may sign a
number of agreements and MOUs mostly relating to trade,
business and economic issues, including enhancing ties in
banking sectors.

All these things will be known only few days before
the visit as talks are still progressing, Jaishankar said.

PTI