Vajpayee stresses need for India and China co-operation to address Digital Divide

DQW Bureau
03 Jul 2003


India and China have come a long way from being poor and industrially backward countries to emerge as leaders in cutting edge technologies, which drive today’s knowledge economy. One of the main objectives of my visit to China is to impart fresh momentum to the comprehensive bilateral cooperation, which India and China are seeking to build. If our economic cooperation is to break out of the traditional mould, knowledge-based technologies need to occupy a far more prominent position in our economic interactions,” -- the Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee stated this at the first ever IT gathering in China hosted by


In the summit, both countries discussed possible areas of co-operation in the area of IT. Vajpayee inaugurated the event in Shanghai. It also saw participation from Arun Shourie, Union Minister for Communications and IT, Yashwant Sinha, Minister for External Affairs, Government of India, Han Zheng Mayor of Shanghai, Wu Cheng Lin, Chairman of CCPIT (China Council for the Promotion of International Trade) Shanghai, with other senior dignitaries from China and representatives from Indian IT industry.

The PM also emphasized the need for the two countries to work together to address the challenges of a ‘digital divide’. As part of this, the Prime Minister reiterated that the two countries need to work together to share experiences in spreading IT education and in initiating community level low cost computing, home networking solutions, more efficient use of bandwidth and e-marketing. He also urged the two countries to partner in the area of R&D.


He also called on the Chinese Government to partner with India on providing the required IT solutions for the Olympic games in Beijing in 2008. He proposed a joint institutional mechanism between the two governments to work out modalities for this.

Vajpayee also underlined during the summit that the respective core competencies of China and India, in hardware and software provided a natural ground for an effective alliance in the IT industry. He also stressed that the respective software industries of both the countries were complementary since China had a predominant focus on products while Indian software industry focused more on contract services and solutions. The one-day summit was conducted in association with CCPIT in Shanghai titled ‘ India and China: Challenges and Opportunities for the IT sector’. 

The NASSCOM delegation was led by Kiran Karnik President, NASSCOM and Som Mittal, Chairman, NASSCOM.At the same time, it attracted participation from a number of Indian IT Services companies. The summit witnessed participation from over 500 delegates (350 Chinese delegates and 150 Indian delegates). The key sessions the summit focused on enhancing co-operation between India and China in the area of Telecom and Embedded Software, Banking and Financial services sector and IT Education as well.

Cyber News Service