Indian, Chinese firms ink 15 MoUs

New Delhi, Sep 23 (IANS) Indian and Chinese companies Monday signed 15 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) worth $338 million which are expected to address to an extent India's large trade deficit with China.

The MoUs on Chinese companies sourcing from India were signed at the India-China Business Matchmaking Symposium, organised jointly by the Confederation of Indian Industry and China's Trade Development Bureau, that saw the participation of 50 firms from China.

India's exports to China in 2012-13 were worth $13.53 billion, while imports stood at $52.24 billion. The trade deficit was thus about $39 billion.

"What is worrying for the government and Indian industry is that we have a very large trade deficit. So, we need to collaborate with each other because uneven trade like this is not sustainable in long run," Asit Tripathy, joint secretary in India's commerce ministry, said on the occasion.

He said there are tax and market access related issues in China while exporting.

"I am sure that in the coming days we will handle it so that trade can grow," he said, adding Indian products are "excellent" in quality and quite competitive in the world market.

Tripathy also asked the Chinese business delegation to explore business opportunities in the Indian services sector.

"India is world leader in IT and ITeS, while legal, architectural and consultancy services are also very popular and competitive. The delegation may also look at the services sector in India," he said.

The leader of the Chinese delegation, Trade Development Bureau Vice Director General Jia Guoyong, said that his government was taking all steps to increase imports from India.

"We have a long-term strategy to enhance trade with India. We are optimising imports of hi-tech equipment, simplifying import management and reducing tariffs to facilitate imports. We are also encouraging business delegation visit for import promotion and overseas procurement," Guoyong said.

Speaking earlier Wang Hejun, commercial counsellor at the Chinese embassy here, said China's government had introduced the South Asian Expo in the country's Kunming province upgrading the earlier commodities fair, so as to better promote Indian products.

Over 80 representatives of 60 Indian companies participated in the symposium.

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