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India, China set for slow growth rates due to global slowdown

India and China are set for slower growth due to the current global slowdown, the Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission of India, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, has said.

"Given the world economic outlook for the next three to five years, it's not surprising that China and India will grow more slowly," Ahluwalia, who attended the Boao Forum for Asia in China last week told 'China Daily' in an interview, published today.

"China is ahead of India in many dimensions. We look at what's happening in China with interest because we have many similar problems," he said.

The two economies are also often complementary, he said.

India is undertaking a large expansion of its electricity generation sector and importing much equipment from China, he noted.

Similarly, China is a huge market for India's flourishing software industry. Most of India's major software producers already have subsidiaries in China, serving multinational and Chinese companies.

Ahluwalia said he asked the chairman of Tata Consultancy Services to send him a note comparing projects and economic conditions in China and India.

"China is a higher income country than India," he said, and maybe what China is doing now, India will be doing in five years, the daily report stated. Energy efficiency is another area for sharing knowledge and technology, he noted, as both countries need to reduce energy intensity (energy consumption per unit of GDP).

"We are both increasingly market-led economies (so) we cannot say we want to engage with China in a particular area," he said.

Instead, it's important to look at the Indian and Chinese markets to see what's needed, he added.

Bilateral trade rose 19.7 per cent last year to USD 73.9 billion. The two countries have set a USD 100 billion bilateral trade target by 2015.

"Nobody would have predicted 10 years ago trade with China would be it is now. It is a big number by Indian standards," Ahluwalia said.

If China will be the world's largest economy in 20 years, "it makes sense for Indian businesspeople to look at the Chinese market".

In 20 years, India will likely be the world's third-largest economy, so it also makes sense for China to look at the Indian market, Ahluwalia said.

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