New Delhi: China on Thursday assured India that it will act on the concerns expressed by India on giving greater market access to domestic products to bridge the widening trade deficit.
The issue, among others, was discussed during the meeting held in New Delhi between commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Wang Shouwen, vice minister for ministry of finance and commerce, China.
The Chinese minister is here to attend the 6th BRICS Trade Ministers’ meeting. “The Chinese Vice Minister assured that China would act on the concerns expressed by India regarding market access for Indian goods in the Chinese markets,” the commerce ministry said in a statement.
During the meeting, Sitharaman raised concerns over the widening trade deficit between the two countries. Both the leaders exchanged notes on trade and commerce and agreed that the “mounting bilateral trade deficit has been a cause for concern for India” which seeks greater market access for its goods for a long-term sustainable trade relationship, it said.
Sitharaman requested expeditious clearances for import of Indian rice besides a ‘Green Channel’ for import of Indian pharmaceutical products to China – especially those which already have US FDA and EU FDA accreditation, it added.
She also requested the Chinese vice minister to consider demonstration of IT/ITeS projects for Indian companies - which have acquired global acclaim. “She expressed concerns at the long drawn procedures for clearances which tend to frustrate the Indian companies seeking business opportunities in China,” it added. Further Sitharaman asked for ‘buying missions’ to India to source amongst other things, Indian tobacco and oil meals.
On the other hand, the Chinese minister informed that recently China has quickened the pace of granting clearances to Indian pharma companies for import of the pharma products, it said.
The Chinese vice minister also sought cooperation of India on various multilateral fora where China and India are engaged and assured that India’s concerns on a ‘Single undertaking’ will be duly taken on board with services being an integral part of the cooperation agreement.
In 2015-16, India’s exports to China was $9 billion, while imports were $61.7 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $52.7 billion.