Trade between China and India reached a record level in 2017, and the forthcoming meeting between their top leaders may open a new chapter for economic and trade cooperation between the two countries, an official from China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) told a press conference on Thursday.
On Friday, Chinese and Indian leaders will hold an informal meeting in Wuhan, capital of Central China's Hubei Province to conduct in-depth exchanges on global issues and China-India relations, according to China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The bilateral trade volume between China and India in 2017 reached $84.4 billion, up by 20.3 percent year-on-year, the biggest increase in the past five years, according to data released by MOFCOM.
The growth rate has also surpassed the level seen with most of China's trading partners last year, including Japan (12.8 percent), Korea (13.7 percent) and Thailand (8.7 percent).
"As two of the biggest emerging economies in the world, China and India have strong economic complementarities and huge potential for cooperation. The economic and trade cooperation between the two countries has maintained a momentum of rapid development in recent years," said Gao Feng, spokesperson for MOFCOM.
Base metals and related products, textiles and raw materials are the main items China imports from India, while India mainly imports China's mechanical and electrical products.
"As of the end of 2017, China has cumulatively invested more than $8 billion in India, and India has become one of the most important overseas infrastructure cooperation markets and investment destinations for Chinese companies," Gao said.
In the first quarter of 2018, the bilateral trade volume between China and India reached $22.13 billion, an increase of 15.4 percent compared with same period last year.