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Trade deficit needs to be addressed by China: India

world Updated: Oct 28, 2012 00:41 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

The China-India business relation has matured in the last decade but a wide trade deficit in favour of Beijing needs to be addressed for the relationship to develop further, Indian ambassador S Jaishankar has said.

“If the trade deficit comes out a perception of unequal market access than it actually, frankly it is not good for the relationship because it does not give an impression of a fair relationship. So I think it is very important to find a way of dealing with this deficit issue so that it is good for the larger relationship,” Jaishankar said.

On China’s part, a senior official, Wang Guiqing, said Chinese businessmen hope that when enterprises are confronted by problems, trade associations will cooperate and promote solutions through consultations to resolve trade disputes, and avoid the use of trade relief measures.

They were speaking after the inauguration of the 'India Show', organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in association with the ministry of commerce and industry, concurrently with the 6th China International Auto Parts Expo from 26-28 October, 2012 in Beijing.

More than 80 Indian automobile companies are participating at the show.

CII has sent a 19-member business delegation to China to discuss ways to strengthen trade and investment ties between the two countries.

The two countries continue to be entangled in a festering border dispute over which they fought a war 50 years ago in 1962. But business relations have improved in recent years with companies from both countries seeking out prospects in the other.

At present, China is India’s largest trade partner and India is China’s seventh largest export destination. Trade last year was USD 74 billion and steadily growing.

Both governments have said it was possible to reach $100 billion mark by 2015.

Jaishankar said that while this was heartening, it posed its own challenges in terms of a deficit last year of USD 27 billion, difficult to sustain or to defend.

“From the government’s perspective, the trade deficit is a matter of concern. From our side, we have started participating in more events. A few weeks ago, we had a big presence at an IT event in Nanjing… It is in the Chinese government’s interest to see that they are successful,” he added.

On anti-dumping measures, the ambassador said: “When you have a lot of trade, you will have a lot of problems. It is not an unnatural thing. My impression is our trade investigations are very fair. Rulings have also gone in favour of Chinese companies. Two years ago, after the US took measures against Chinese tyre industry, we did not.”

“Chinese entrepreneurs are aware that the Indian auto parts sector is developing rapidly. In the auto parts industry, Indian companies can surely find business in China, and the Chinese government welcomes imports. We hold an open attitude to competitive products from other countries,” Wang, vice president of China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Machinery and Electronic Product said.