Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Tuesday said that his country was open to strike a regional trade agreement with India and address the existing trade deficit between the two countries.
“I am confident we have the ability to mitigate the trade imbalance between our two countries,” Li said at a function organised by FICCI and Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA).
India’s export to China was estimated at $13.52 billion in 2012-13, though its imports from the neighbouring country stood at $54.3 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $40.78 billion. Both the countries have set a target of taking bilateral trade to $100 billion by 2015.
Li, who is on a three-day visit to India, also said that balanced trade was crucial to build good relations between the two countries.
“As for Indian concerns over the trade deficit, the Chinese side is willing to provide facilitations for more Indian products to access the Chinese market,” Li said, adding that China never had the intention to have a trade surplus.
“Only a dynamic trade balance is a sustainable trade relation,” he said.
The Chinese premier, who noted that with one-third of the world population coming from the two countries, also said that without mutual co-operation, it would not be possible to build a stronger Asia. He added that there are several synergies between the two countries amid differences. Li underlined the need to build mutual trust to ensure there is peace and stability in South Asia.
Li also said that though issues relating to the boundaries remain, it could be addressed through fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution.
The Chinese Premier, who undertook a visit of TCS facility in Mumbai, was apprised of the $100 billion group’s operations in his country by top officials that included Tata Group chairman Cyrus P Mistry.
The Chinese entourage included Li, a battery of ministers and other senior officials, while the Tatas were represented by Mistry, TCS chief N Chandrasekaran and other senior Tata group officials.
“We are delighted with the visit of the Premier to our group and this facility. China is a very important geography for the future growth of the Tata Group and we continue to increase our investments and scale of operations in that country,” Mistry said.
Li was also presented with an overview of the Tata Group’s operations in China with a special focus on Jaguar Land Rover’s and TCS’ growing investments and operations across that country.