New Delhi: India and China have agreed to a five-year plan on economic cooperation as well as setting up a joint working group (JWG) to go into all trade related issues, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said here Monday.
The JWG, comprising senior officials from both sides, would be set up soon and will submit its recommendations within three months. It would continue to work on investment and trade-related matters thereafter.
Sharma said that on the proposal of his Chinese counterpart Chen Deming, the two sides have agreed to install a five-year plan for economic cooperation, for which nodal authorities had been identified to develop the plan.
Speaking to media persons after the ninth session of the India-China Joint Economic Group with the Chinese delegation led by his counterpart Chen, Sharma said China has assured India of support on the issues of trade deficit between the two countries and greater access to the Chinese market for the Indian IT, IT-enabled services (ITES) and the pharmaceuticals sectors.
The balance of trade is in favour of China. In 2011-12, it provisionally stood at USD 39,651.46 million
Bilateral trade between India and China in 2011-12 stood at USD 75,457.42 million as compared to USD 59,000.36 million during 2010-11.
Sharma said the Chinese have been invited into the national manufacturing and investment zones (NMIZs), to which the response has been encouraging.
Underlining the importance of the India-China economic relationship particularly in the global context of economic downturn, Chen spoke of on-going initiatives to intensify investments so that "Chinese companies can set up SEZs and manufacturing zones in India".
"China is also looking for stronger protection for its investments. The Chinese (business) delegation has expressed concern over difficulties in getting visas, and about protection for Chinese investments and project property," Chen said.
The Chinese minister said that as current Chinese investments in India are to the tune of around USD 580 million, there was potential for increasing investments.
Chen said the business delegation included major Chinese players in the power, petrochemicals and machinery sectors.
Chinese power equipment manufacturers have substantial production and investment interests in India.
"Chinese producers are determined to continue with production and investment in India," said the Chinese minister.
Sharma informed media persons that out of recent orders for generation of 167,900 MW power, Chinese companies have been contracted to supply 42,500 MW.
The Joint Group on Economic Relations, Trade, Science & Technology was formed in 1988 when then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi visited Beijing.