Give market access, buy more from us to reduce trade deficit, India tells China
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Give market access, buy more from us to reduce trade deficit, India tells China

Burdened by the heavy and increasing bilateral trade deficit of more than $63 billion, India on Tuesday pitched for greater access to the tightly-controlled Chinese market in sectors like agriculture, pharmaceuticals and information technology.

india Updated: Nov 06, 2018 15:25 IST
Hindustan Times, Beijing
market,trade deficit,India
Commerce secretary Anup Wadhawan conveyed India’s concerns to China’s vice-minister for commerce Wang Shouwen (pictured) during a meeting in Shanghai on Tuesday.(AP/File Photo)

Burdened by the heavy and increasing bilateral trade deficit of more than $63 billion, India on Tuesday pitched for greater access to the tightly-controlled Chinese market in sectors like agriculture, pharmaceuticals and information technology.

Commerce secretary Anup Wadhawan conveyed India’s concerns to China’s vice-minister for commerce Wang Shouwen during a meeting in Shanghai on Tuesday.

Wadhwan told Wang that in areas such as agriculture products, pharmaceuticals, information technology services and tourism, in which India has proven strengths and significant global presence but a minuscule presence in China, need to be encouraged in the bilateral trade.

Bilateral trade between the two countries has expanded in the last couple of years but it has widened the deficit in favour of China and according to Chinese calculations, the deficit is over $50 billion. China is India’s largest trading partner with total trade expected to reach the $100 billion soon.

A statement from the Indian embassy said Wadhwan “…while expressing concern regarding the large trade deficit, acknowledged Chinese government’s efforts in clearing some of the market access issues such as for rice, rapeseed meal etc during the past few months and expressed satisfaction over progress on soya bean meal and pomegranate and related issues”.

The commerce secretary “...asked for guidance, facilitation, support and assistance to the relevant stakeholders for creating a suitable environment for India’s exports in these sectors to China,” the statement added.

“From being a small trading partner of India in 2001, within a span of 15 years, China has rapidly become India’s biggest trading partner. Trade between the two countries has been expanding but India’s trade deficit with China has been growing,” Union commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu said in October.

According to the tabloid Global Times, the rate of increase in Sino-India bilateral trade is more than the increase in China’s trade with Japan and South Korea.

“Bilateral trade volume between China and India in 2017 reached $84.4 billion, up by 20.3 percent year-on-year, the biggest increase in the past five years,” according to data released by China’s commerce ministry.

“The growth rate also surpassed the levels seen by most of China’s trading partners last year, including Japan’s 12.8 percent, South Korea’s 13.7 percent and Thailand’s 8.7 percent,” the news report said.

“Efforts to promote India’s exports to China have been going on at various levels and the Embassy said it had organized a series of business promotions and buyer-seller meets covering products like sugar, tea, rice, oil meal and pharmaceuticals in 2018,” the report added.

India has set up a booth to showcase products in four key sectors such as food and agricultural products, pharmaceuticals, information technology enabled services, tourism and services sector at the ongoing China International Import Expo as part of its efforts to bring down its trade deficit with China.

First Published: Nov 06, 2018 15:20 IST