India, China talks to ease trade frictions

  • Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Sep 20, 2011 01:06 IST

This one encapsulates the present state of affairs in India-China ties—while having divergence on issues like the security, spare no efforts to build on the convergence in the economic sphere.

Planning commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia will head a high-level team to Beijing for the first India-China Strategic Economic Dialogue scheduled from September 24 to 26. 

The event is devised as a major vehicle to address all trade and investment related issues to ensure that the bilateral trade reaches the set target of $100 billion by 2015.

India and China have been working on the principle of trying to build on the convergence while trying to narrow down the differences.

The meeting comes after the stand-off between the two countries over the issue of oil exploration in South China sea.

India will bring to the table the issues regarding the trade imbalance. The strategic economic dialogue is devised to enhance macro-economic policy coordination, promote exchanges and interactions and to address issues and challenges on the economic development.

The decision to establish the strategic economic dialogue, similar to the mechanism that exists between Beijing and Washington, was taken during the visit of Chinese premier Wen Jiabao in December 2010.

During that visit, the two countries had agreed to take measures to promote greater Indian exports to China that would help reduce India’s trade deficit. 

In the $60 billion worth of bilateral trade between India and China in 2010, the trade imbalance was as much as $20 bn in Beijing's favour. It was $16 bn the year before. India-China bilateral trade is expected to rise above $70 bn this year. “Trade imbalance has been a cause of concern. We are hopeful of Beijing looking into our concern,” said an Indian official.

Ahluwalia will hold talks with Zhang Ping, head of China's National Development and Reform Commission, which is China's equivalent of India’s Planning Commission.

 

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