PM Modi, Xi agree on new trade mechanism at summit talks in Mamallapuram
On the first day of talks on Friday, the two leaders held “open and cordial” discussions over a dinner that stretched for two and a half hours, almost double the scheduled duration.Updated: Oct 12, 2019 15:03 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi in their summit talks agreed to set up a high-level mechanism to discuss trade and investment. The announcement was made by foreign secretary Vijay K Gokhale on Saturday at the end of two-day informal summit that saw the two leaders having several rounds of discussions in Tamil Nadu’s Mamallapuram.
“The mechanism will be led by the Indian finance minister and Chinese vice president... the discussion will be on how to balance trade, how trade deficit will be addressed,” Gokhale added.
The move comes amid increasing pressure on India to decide on whether it will be a part of the RCEP -- which aims to create the world’s largest trading bloc -- as China seeks to conclude the negotiations by November. India’s primary concern is the pact may lead to an influx of cheap Chinese goods, which could further widen New Delhi’s nearly $55 billion trade deficit with Beijing.
President Xi has assured that India’s concerns over Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will be discussed, he said.
Both Modi and Xi emphasised on importance of having rules-based global trading system, he said, both leaders felt that the two countries should cooperate on important regional and global issues Xi also talked about the need for enhancing defence cooperation, Gokhale said.
The foreign secretary said that Kashmir did not come up for discussion and both leaders spoke about the global threat from terrorism and the need to tackle it in the increasingly diverse world.
Xi also felt that the two nations needed to engage more on defence and security. He felt that the engagement would enhance trust between the two armies, the foreign secretary said. Boost for people to people contact was another area of priority where it was felt that there was a need to broad base public opinion in both countries.
On the first day of talks on Friday, the two leaders held “open and cordial” discussions over a dinner that stretched for two and a half hours, almost double the scheduled duration. “This was quality time that the two leaders spent together one on one,” Gokhale said on Friday.
The two leaders discussed their respective national visions and governance priorities, and Xi said he was looking forward to working very closely with Modi “on all issues”, according to Gokhale.