Vol. 5 Num 869 Tue. November 07, 2006  

China eyes free trade area with India

China is considering the possibility of establishing a free trade area with India, state media reported Monday, citing a senior official with the Ministry of Commerce.

"We have to follow economic globalization trends and push for the liberalization and facilitation of trade," Assistant Commerce Minister Fu Ziying said, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

If it were to become a reality, a Sino-Indian free-trade area would cover 2.4 billion people, or more than one third of mankind.

China is currently holding talks with Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Pakistan as well as the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) on the establishment of free trade areas.

Trade between the two Asian giants, both among the world's fastest growing economies, has expanded quickly in recent years.