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Sunday, April 12, 2009

China, India will remain the fastest growing economies

KOLKATA: It may be difficult for China to repeat the success story of double-digit economic growth in the foreseeable future because of the ‘heavily-damaged’ consumption markets of advanced economies.

Indicating this, the Consul General of China in Kolkata, Mao Siwei, said that China’s economy had just touched the bottom and a recovery was likely to begin by mid-2009, according to a recent World Bank report.

However, he also said that Chinese economists were warning that “we should not be too optimistic as the newly-emerging trend of improvement has been largely stimulated by government-influenced investment.”

Participating in an interactive session on ‘India and China to drive global economic growth,’ he said that as the two largest developing countries, China and India would remain the fastest-growing economies in the world at a time when the world economy would contract.

“This itself is our two countries’ contribution to the world economy,” Mr. Mao said.

The session was organised by the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Mr. Mao said that while China had now become India’s largest trading partner, for the first time, (with bilateral trade of $51.8 billion in 2008), India had become the largest overseas market for Chinese companies undertaking contract projects. Last year, Chinese companies were awarded contracts worth $12.9 billion for various construction projects in India.

Referring to the complementary nature of the two economies, he said that while India was strong in knowledge-based industries, especially IT and pharmaceuticals, China was strong in manufacturing and infrastructure.

Referring to the co-operation in the power sector, he said certain reports in the Indian media about the problems of power projects constructed by Chinese companies and that these were teething problems.

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