India, China plan to set up joint working group to boost trade

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New Delhi: India and China are working to set up a joint working group aimed at giving a fillip to bilateral investment and also to address trade related matters.

The two countries also evinced interest in fostering favourable investment climate including greater market access and speedy visa facilitation.

Commerce and Industry Ministry Anand Sharma and his Chinese counterpart Chen Deming led their business teams at the ninth session of the India-China Joint Group on Economic Relations, Trade, Science and Technology.

Sharma, while briefing reporters, said, “The joint working group will be established soon and it will give its recommendations and assessments in 90 days…We have also agreed to work on a five-year plan on economic cooperation. These have been proposed by China and we have welcomed and endorsed it”.

While Sharma raised concerns over widening trade deficit in favour of China and restricted market access in areas such as IT, pharmaceutical and agricultural products, Chen raised issues pertaining to visas and the recent import duty hike on power equipment by India.

Sharma said, those projects which already have got approval for the 12{+t}{+h} Plan period will be continue to enjoy the exemption.

Sharma said the two sides had touched upon issues that were hampering trade and investments. India had asked leading Chinese companies to set up manufacturing bases in India.

“We have invited China to participate and support in the establishment of one or more of the National Investment and Manufacturing Zones,” the Minister said.

The Chinese Trade Minister said both India and China could help in a global economic recovery and it is important to strengthen ties between the two nations. He also expressed hope of achieving $100-billion trade target by 2013.

The total bilateral trade between India and China for 2011-12, stood at $75,457.42 million as compared with $59,000.36 million in 2010-11.

During 2011-12, the exports were $17,902.98 million while the imports stood at $57,554.44 million. The provisional trade deficit for 2011-12 was $39,651.46 million.

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