President pitches for equitable trade with China

  • Sutirtho Patranobis
  • Updated: May 26, 2016 08:59 IST

GUANGZHOU/BEIJING: India wants a bigger market for its products from the pharmaceutical and IT sectors in China, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Wednesday, adding that expanding bilateral trade would make it more equitable.

Mukherjee said there is potential for economic and commercial cooperation between the two countries and “…the stability of our relationship in recent years provides an enabling basis for utilising these opportunities…”

Bilateral trade was over $71 billion in 2015 but the balance of trade continued – like in years before – to be in favour of China by more than $40 billion, making it increasingly unsustainable for India.

Speaking at an India-China business forum organised by the China Council for Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) Mukherjee touched upon the problem, pitching for a more equitable trade.

“Although the trade balance continues to be in favour of China, we look forward to expanding our commerce to make it more equitable. India would like to see a greater market for our products in China – particularly in sectors where we have natural complementarities – as in the areas of drugs and pharmaceuticals, IT and IT-related services and agroproducts,” Mukherjee said.

“It is a matter of satisfaction that there is emerging focus on two-way investment flows,” the Indian President said.

“Chinese companies with inherent strengths in infrastructure and manufacturing can look towards India as an important destination in their ‘going global’ strategy. On their part, Indian companies can partner with Chinese enterprises in the new domain of ‘Internet of Things’ which underlines the ‘Made in China 2025’ strategy,” he said.

Mukherjee pointed out the progress that has been made by Chinese companies in certain sectors in India. “…a good start has been made by Chines businesses who are investing in infrastructure projects and industrial parks in India. Bilateral cooperation in India’s railway sector is also progressing well. A good number of premier Indian IT firms and other manufacturers are present in China, Mukherjee said, adding that Indian and Chinese companies were also jointly exploring business opportunities in third countries.

“We are committed to providing a conducive environment for more investments from China… India invites investors from China to be partners in India’s growth story,” Mukherjee said.

Mukherjee later attended by a reception organised by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries in Beijing where he arrived late afternoon. Addressing that gathering, China’s vice-president Li Yuanchao said “…India and China should strengthen mutual trust and properly handle differences”.

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