Beijing, Oct 26 (IANS) China has become India's largest trade partner, but market access for Indian companies in the country is still limited and has been a major concern, India's Ambassador S. Jaishankar said Friday.
Speaking at the inauguration of the "India Show" here, the Indian envoy said bilateral trade last year was worth $74 billion and is "steadily growing".
But the balance of trade is heavily tilted in favour of China. "India had a trade deficit of $27 billion, which is difficult to sustain or to defend," said Jaishankar.
And "market access for Indian companies is a major concern and that is precisely why it is important that so many of them are here (at the India Show)."
Over 80 Indian companies are participating in the "India Show" which is being held along with the China International Auto Parts Expo (CIAPE).
The expo will provide an opportunity for the local industries to understand the technological advancements, innovations and manufacturing prowess of the Indian auto component industry.
The ambassador said the growth of India-China economic relations, though impressive, is "an under-leveraged one".
"We offer each other so many opportunities for mutual development. Creating an enabling environment to take advantage of them is our endeavour."
He, however, said Sino-Indian economic relations are maturing, moving from trade to investments.
S. Gopalakrishan, president designate of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), which has jointly organised the show, said more than 200 Indian companies are currently present in China to better engage with the local market.
"These companies apart from tapping the domestic market have been using China as their base to produce for other markets," said Gopalakrishnan.
A number of Chinese auto manufacturers are contemplating projects in India.
Asit Tripathi, joint secretary in the Indian commerce ministry, said the two-way trade target of $100 billion would not be difficult to achieve by 2015.
He hoped there would be greater investments from the two sides in times ahead.
As per the figures released by China's commerce ministry, cumulative Chinese investments in India till December 2011 are worth $575.7 million and Indian investments in China stood at $441.7 million.
Indian manufacturing and IT companies are making serious moves in China, demonstrating their capabilities in high-tech engineering, software development, banking and forex trading platforms.
Wang Guiqin, vice chairman, China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Exports of Machinery and Electronic products, which has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with CII, said the Chinese government welcomed imports of Indian products.
Indian enterprises were welcome to do business in China, he added.
--Indo-Asian news Service