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India to give concessions

Union Cabinet has approved a set of tariff concessions to China to boost Sino-Indian business relations.

india Updated: Jul 02, 2003 16:58 IST

The Indian cabinet Saturday approved a fresh set of tariff concessions to China to boost business ties between the two countries.

The decision comes close on the heels of Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's landmark six-day visit to China that ended Friday. Vajpayee was accompanied by a high-level Indian business delegation.

Disinvestment Minister Arun Shourie told reporters after a cabinet meeting chaired by Vajpayee that trade tariff concessions had been provided under the Bangkok Agreement.

The Bangkok Agreement, signed in 1975, refers to an initiative under the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) for trade expansion through exchange of tariff concessions among members of the ESCAP region.

As part of China's accession procedure to the agreement, Beijing had given an offer list of 182 items to India.

Shourie said India, after exchange of concessions with China, will be eligible for concessions on 722 items, which cover around 25 to 30 percent India's total exports to China in value terms.

The fresh trade tariff concession are likely to lead to a rise in exports of major items like chemicals, leather, textiles and diamonds from India to China, he added.

Experts say bilateral trade between India and China has the potential to reach $10 billion within three years, up from $5 billion now.

Vajpayee's trip to China, the first by an Indian prime minister since 1993, has achieved significant results in improving economic relations.

First Published: Jun 28, 2003 22:43 IST