China agreed Thursday to open its doors to more Indian exports at a meeting between the leaders of the two countries on the sidelines of a summit of emerging market nations.
Chinese President Hu Jintao pledged to take steps to help boost India's exports to China and reduce New Delhi's $27-billion trade deficit with its neighbour during the talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi.
Hu promised China "would facilitate the entry of Indian goods and exports into the Chinese market, thereby reducing the trade imbalance," foreign ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin told AFP.
The trade move came as the two leaders also officially declared 2012 a year of "India-China Friendship," the Press Trust of India reported.
Late last year, the two Asian economic powerhouses said they would increase bilateral trade to $100 billion by 2015 from $74 billion last year, but the flow of goods remains lopsided in China's favour.
Hu was in New Delhi to attend the summit of BRICS nations -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- aimed at increasing the non-Western alliance's influence on global affairs and bolstering commercial ties.
Separately, China declared Thursday's BRICS summit "successful," saying increased cooperation among BRICS members would contribute significantly to global economic growth, the Press Trust of India reported.
The lead-up to the gathering saw angry protests by Tibetan exiles in India against Chinese rule.
A 27-year-old activist died Wednesday after setting himself alight during a demonstration two days earlier, becoming the 30th in a list of exiles who have killed themselves since March to protest alleged repression by China in Tibet.
Chinese officials earlier on Thursday blamed spiritual leader the Dalai Lama for the Tibetan protester burning himself to death.
"The Dalai Lama and so-called pro-independence elements are trying to push extreme and radical views," Luo Zhaohui, director general of China's department of Asian Affairs, told reporters.
But he said "the Chinese appreciate the concrete and effective measures implemented by the Indian government in overcoming the disruption."
The presence of the 80,000-strong Tibetan community in India is a source of friction between India and China and their ties also remain prickly over border issues.
China and India agreed to continue their talks to settle their long dispute over areas of their common Himalayan border, which triggered a brief but bloody war in 1962, the Indian foreign ministry spokesman said.
The rivalry between the world's two most populous nations is seen by critics as one of the main problems for the BRICS bloc, as well as the vast distances between members and their different political and economic systems.