Indo-China Trade Min meet:Mkt access, trade deficit key issues

Indo-China Trade Min meet:Mkt access, trade deficit key issues

Ahead of the Chinese President's visit to India, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is likely to meet her Chinese counterpart next month and discuss issues, including widening trade deficit, greater market access for Indian products and investment.

Sitharaman may discuss various trade and investment related issues with Chinese Trade Minister Gao Hucheng in Beijing in their meeting in the first week of next month, an official told PTI.

"China is India's biggest trading partner but the increasing trade deficit is a major concern for India. The minister would also like to raise issue related with non-tariff barriers and access to IT and pharma sector in China," the official said.

China invests close to USD 100 billion annually in different parts of the world whereas in India they have invested only about USD 410 million in the last 14 years. Chinese business can invest in various sector, including infrastructure, industrial parks and ports to help bridge the trade deficit.

The commerce minister's visit assumes significance as Chinese President Xi Jinping's is expected to visit here next month. In 2013-14, total trade (comprising export and import) stood at USD 65.85 billion. The deficit during 2013-14 was USD 36.22 billion.

India's main items of export to China include petroleum products, gems and jewellery, transport equipment, other raw materials and machinery. Its imports include electrical machinery and equipment, mechanical machinery and appliances, project goods and organic chemicals.

Recently, India and China signed an MoU on cooperation on industrial parks aimed at attracting Chinese investments.

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