Anand Sharma raises trade imbalance with Chinese Commerce Minister

New Delhi, Aug. 20 (ANI): Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma had a bilateral exchange of views with the Chinese Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng today during his visit to Brunei where he is attending several ministerial meetings on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, East Asian Economic Ministers Meeting and the ASEAN-India Ministerial meeting.

This was the first meeting of the two ministers after the visit of the Chinese Prime Minister to India in June.

The two ministers followed up their discussion with a view to plan for the next meeting of the Joint Economic Group likely to be scheduled in late October this year in Beijing.

Sharma informed the Chinese Minister about India's preparedness for further engagements in the three working groups constituted during the Prime Ministerial Meeting earlier this year. The working group on the trade and economic cooperation is mandated to prepare an action oriented work plan for improving India's trade imbalance with China.

Sharma specially drew the Chinese Minister's attention to India's pending request for facilitating Indian exports of pharmaceuticals, agricultural products, buffalo meat and information technology services.

He was assured by his counterpart that China would make every effort to facilitate imports from India for bridging trade imbalance.

They agreed that the working group should meet in September for further work. They also agreed that the other two working groups on Trade in Services and Trade Statistics should also meet in September with a view to implement the decisions of their leaders.

Sharma sought Chinese investment in manufacturing in the National Manufacturing Investment Zones. China showed special interest in infrastructure, Power and Capital Goods manufacturing. They will finalize the details of such understanding during their next meeting in October.

In the last JEG Meeting with China on August 27, 2012, in New Delhi, Sharma had handed over to the Chinese Minister of Commerce the roadmap for enhanced cooperation between India and China in IT and ITeS and the pharmaceuticals sector. If implemented, it would surely be helpful in bringing down the trade deficit with China.

"A favourable action in the matter is needed from Chinese side. India and China have many complementarities in these sectors particularly in IT and ITeS sector and the Pharmaceutical sector. Joining hands in these sectors would prove a win-win situation for both the countries" said Sharma.

The minister also exchanged views on the state of negotiations on the Doha Round for the Ministerial meeting in Bali. They both agreed that they would like to see Trade facilitation, Proposal regarding Food Security and the development package to be harvested in Bali. They shared their common views on their strong requirement to see the food security proposal accepted in the Bali ministerial.

During January- June 2013 India's export to china stood at USD 5.42 billion whereas imports were USD 24.70 Billion. (ANI)

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