China–India economics: contour and context
DOI link for China–India economics: contour and context
China–India economics: contour and context book
The eco nomic relationship between China and India was too small to notice even a decade ago. With bi lat eral trade at around US$2 billion and hardly any investments either way, neither coun try could have visualised the other as a major eco nomic partner in the years to come. A decade later, how ever, there are distinct signs of the eco nomic relationship maturing into one of the most robust commercial asso ci ations of modern times. This is not only because of the astounding rate of growth in bi lat eral trade, which has shot up to US$60 billion within less than a decade. It is also because of the increasingly larger roles that Chinese and Indian entre pren eurs and businesses are beginning to play in each other’s eco nom ies through a variety of industrial ventures and innov at ive initiatives. As two of the world’s fastest growing emerging market eco nom ies, both are exciting pro spects for each other. Together, they also symbolise the emergence of an eco nomic ally resurgent Asia. While the eco nomic ties were small at the beginning of the current century, they were prac tically non existent when the Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi visited China a little more than a couple of decades ago, in Decem ber 1988, at the invitation of the Chinese Premier Li Peng. The visit was intended to break the ice between the two coun tries, which had had an acrimonious relationship for more than two decades. Economics or trade barely found mention in the joint Press Communiqué issued by the two coun tries on the occasion except for the estab lishment of a Joint Economic Group (JEG).1 This was in marked contrast to the communiqué issued during Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to India in Decem ber 2010, 22 years after Rajiv Gandhi’s visit. The statement, on this occasion, was conspicuous in its emphasis on eco nomic coopera tion and the pro gress achieved in bi lat eral trade and investment ties. Not only did it spell out various dir ec tions of future eco nomic engagement such as setting a trade target of US$100 billion to be achieved by 2015, and coopera tion in infrastructure, envir on ment, finance and in forma tion tech no logy, the statement also institutionalised a stra tegic eco nomic dialogue between the two coun tries to ‘enhance macro economic coopera tion, to promote exchanges and inter actions and join hands to address issues and challenges appearing in the eco nomic de velopment and enhance eco nomic coopera tion’.2 Economics clearly dominated the agenda, leaving little doubt about the views of both coun tries on the im port ant role it was playing and was expected to play in the relationship between the Asian giants.