India and China Agree on High Level Task Force to Promote Business

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Trade deficit has increased by about 34 per cent to USD 48.43 billion in 2014-15 from USD 36.21 billion in the previous fiscal.

Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi emphasized that to maintain this partnership over the long run, India and China must also improve the access of Indian industry to the Chinese market. “I am encouraged by President Xi’s and Premier Li’s commitment to resolve this problem,” Mr Modi said.

It was agreed that both sides will take necessary measures to remove impediments to bilateral trade and investment, facilitate greater market access to each other’s economies.
The two sides resolved to take joint measures to alleviate the skewed bilateral trade so as to realise its sustainability, said a joint statement.

Working towards addressing India’s concerns over the widening trade gap between India and China, the two sides have agreed to set up a high level task force. The trade deficit between India and China has touched USD 48 billion in China’s favour.

India is seeking greater market access in China for its products in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, IT and agriculture, which are facing regulatory hurdles there.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is here on an official visit, raised concerns with the Chinese Leaders over the widening trade gap between the two sides.
“President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang were very receptive to the specific concerns I had raised on our growing trade deficit. We look forward to early impact on the ground,” Modi said.

“We have agreed to create a high-level task force to develop a strategic road-map to expand economic relations. It will cover a broad range of areas including Infrastructure, IT, Pharma, Agriculture and Manufacturing,” he added.

“Such measures will include cooperation on pharmaceutical supervision including registration, speedier phytosanitary negotiations on agro-products for two-way trade, stronger links between Indian IT companies and Chinese enterprises, and increasing services trade in tourism, films, healthcare, IT and logistics,” it said.

Further, the joint statement said, “Taking note of the increase in two-way trade and investment flows in the past few years, the two sides acknowledged its positive contribution to strengthening their overall bilateral relationship and to supporting each other’s growth and development processes.”

In this regard, it was agreed that both sides will take necessary measures to remove impediments to bilateral trade and investment, facilitate greater market access to each other’s economies, and support local governments of the two countries to strengthen trade and investment exchanges, with a view to optimally exploiting the present and potential complementarities in identified sectors in the Five Year Trade and Economic Development Plan signed in September 2014, including Indian pharmaceuticals, Indian IT services, tourism, textiles and agro-products, the statement said.

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