India, China decide to inject new momentum in economic ties

Last Updated: Sun, Jun 08, 2014 14:34 hrs

New Delhi: India and China today decided to inject new momentum in their economic ties with both countries pushing for exploring "untapped opportunities" including setting up of industrial parks to take the bilateral trade beyond existing USD 65 billion annually.

In their meeting, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi deliberated extensively on economic engagement between the two countries and agreed to intensify business and trade relations.

Both the leaders discussed deepening of engagement in specific sectors as well as projects and removing hurdles to spur the trade activities.

"There was also a fairly long discussion on economic issues. These included specific projects, trajectory of economic ties, potential for tapping opportunities as well as the hurdles being faced in pursuing enhanced economic cooperation," Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs said.

Joint Secretary in-charge of China in the External Affairs Ministry Gautam Bambawale said possibility of investment by Chinese firms in diverse areas were discussed in the meeting.

He said Swaraj talked about investment by Chinese firms through industrial parks.

Asked whether India's ballooning trade deficit with China was raised by Swaraj, Bambawale only said both the leaders agreed to expand economic ties.

China is India's biggest trading partner with two-way trade standing close to USD 65 billion, according to official figure but trade deficit in favour of China continued to mount at about USD 40 billion.

The bilateral trade also declined by 1.5 per cent, registering a downward trend for the second consecutive year in 2013.

India has consistently been raising the issue of increasing trade deficit and seeking greater market access in China to bridge the gap.

India has been maintaining that one way to reduce the imbalance is to open up Chinese markets to IT-enabled services, cotton textiles and home furnishings and also in pharmaceuticals.

The MEA Spokesperson said Wang told Swaraj that China welcomes India's development and was ready to engage with the new government.

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