NEW DELHI, Dec. 15 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Wednesday said China and India should fully tap the potential for bilateral trade and boost balanced trade development.
Calling his ongoing visit to India a journey of friendship and cooperation, Wen said China is willing to cooperate with India to expand the scale and range of economic and trade cooperation, and bring it to a higher level.
Wen made the remarks at a bilateral business cooperation forum in New Delhi, which attracted about 600 business elites from both countries.
He arrived here earlier Wednesday for a three-day official visit at the invitation of his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh.
Wen said both sides need to further tap the potential to substantially increase their trade volume, and promote trade development in a balanced manner and jointly fight trade protectionism.
The premier called for efforts by both sides to create a favorable environment for mutual investment, implement the pact for investment promotion and protection, ease the restrictions on authorization, on capital and personnel flows, and explore the possibility of setting up international economic and trade cooperation zones in each other's country to promote bilateral trade and investment.
The two countries should expand cooperation in such areas as finance, tourism, energy and environmental protection, and strength exchanges in science and technology, education, culture and healthcare, Wen said.
He added that they should also promote mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples.
The Chinese leader, meanwhile, called for more exchanges between the two countries' business circles and the establishment of more platforms for such interactions.
He also suggested that the chambers of commerce and business associations serve as a bridge to help enterprises in both countries know more about and explore each other's markets.
The 21st century is the century of Asia, in which both China and India can achieve a lot, Wen said.
He called on the business communities of both countries to actively participate in bilateral economic and trade cooperation to contribute to the great rejuvenation of the two ancient civilizations.
Wen's visit marks the first to India by a Chinese premier in four years. It follows Indian President Pratibha Patil's visit to China in May -- the first by an Indian head of state in a decade.
Wen was scheduled for talks with Singh on Thursday morning on bilateral ties and international and regional issues of common concern. He will also attend events marking the 60th anniversary of China-India diplomatic ties, and meet with Indian people from various circles, before concluding his tour on Friday.