India, China ink deals amid trade tensions with US

India, China ink deals amid trade tensions with US

India, China ink deals amid trade tensions with US

Indian and Chinese companies on Saturday signed 101 commercial deals worth nearly $ 2.368 billion (Rs 15,389 crore), even as both the nation's trade disputes with the US has escalated, of late.

The trade deals were inked ahead of  a proposed meeting between Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu and his Chinese counterpart Zhong Shan in New Delhi next week.

Apart from discussing ways to expand bilateral commerce and making it more balanced, Prabhu and Zhong are also likely to discuss the US trade offensives, which of late has targeted both India and China.

Prabhu's meeting with Zhong is one of the several bilateral engagements New Delhi and Beijing have lined up over the next few months in order to bring the troubled ties between the two neighbouring nations back on track.  

They are meeting at a time when Washington and Beijing is embroiled in a trade war with American President Donald Trump signing a presidential memorandum that could impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of imports from China to the US.

Beijing announced plans for reciprocal tariffs on $3 billion of imports from the US to China in its first response to the offensive launched by Washington.

The US also dragged China to the World Trade Organisation over discriminatory technology licensing requirements in the Communist country.

The US earlier this month also challenged India's export subsidies scheme at the WTO.

Trump last month expressed his displeasure over high import duty imposed by India on high-end motorcycles like the ones made by Harley-Davidson and other US companies.

Sources told DH that apart from discussing bilateral issues, Prabhu and Zhong might also discuss issues related to global trade.

India-China bilateral trade reached $ 84.44 billion in 2017, while the trade deficit grew to $ 51.75 billion – registering 8.5% year-on-year rise.

The commercial deals inked by Indian and Chinese companies on Saturday will give a fillip to trade in black tea, castor oil, peppermint oil, coco fibre, green coffee bean and other products.  

Representatives of 30 Chinese companies are currently on a visit to India.