India and China to work together for balanced trade
New Delhi. Shri Anand Sharma, Commerce and Industry Minister currently on a visit to China, today called on Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. In a warm and cordial meeting, the Chinese Premier agreed that trade and economic cooperation between the two countries is an important part of the overall bilateral India – China relationship. He agreed that both sides could work together to ensure more balanced trade. China would do its part in working towards this objective. Stating that India and China have extensive common interests, he pointed out that each country has its own strengths and can learn from each other. The Chinese Premier emphasized that China and India should work together to further develop their economic relationship as an important plank of their bilateral partnership. Shri Sharma agreed that India – China bonds are strong and expressed his appreciation of Chinese willingness to address the trade imbalance between the two countries.. Earlier, Shri Sharma co-chaired the 8th Meeting of the India-China Joint Economic Group (JEG) with the Commerce Minister of China Mr. Chen Deming. The JEG was meeting after a gap of 4 years. Shri Sharma conveyed that India placed importance on economic and trade cooperation between the two countries. China was India’s largest trade partner, while India was China’s tenth largest partner. India desired to expand its exports to China and India’s rank in China’s foreign trade does not do justice to the potential that exists between the two countries. Shri Sharma drew attention to the large and growing trade deficit that India is experiencing in its bilateral trade with China. He requested the Chinese side to take corrective steps to reduce this imbalance. He pressed for greater import of IT and ITES by China from India, removal of tariff and non-tariff barriers to the import of power plant equipment from India, removal of restrictions on import of Basmati Rice, fruits and vegetables by China, landing rights for Indian TV channels in China, and import of more Indian films by China. He further highlighted the procedural bottlenecks, including time consuming licensing procedures being faced by Indian drugs and pharmaceuticals. During the JEG Meeting, an India-China MOU on Expansion of Trade and Economic Cooperation between the two countries was signed which provides for the Chinese side to import as much of its requirement of value added goods from India as possible. The Chinese Commerce Minister stated that China too would work towards reducing the trade deficit that India was experiencing. Stating that India had emerged as one of the largest markets for Chinese project exports, he requested India to facilitate the work of Chinese companies in India. Both Ministers looked forward to working together in expanding mutual investments in the other country. Shri Sharma and the Commerce Minister of China also delivered key-note addresses at an India-China Business Seminar held at Beijing today. An MOU between FICCI and the China Chambers of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronics (CCCME) for cooperation between the two Chambers was signed.