New Delhi: With huge trade imbalance in favour of China, India Monday strongly pitched for market access and invited Chinese investments in infrastructure sector to address the deficit.
"We have in mind Chinese involvement, we encourage and welcome and seek for working closely in infrastructure in our country and at the same time, we are looking for greater market access in Chinese pharma and IT sector. This will provide more balance in trade between the two countries," External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said here.
The Minister was speaking at the inauguration of the first India China Media Forum.
"This matter (trade imbalance) was of high importance during Premier Li's visit, even as we work for balance of trade, investments will significantly compensate to some extent the importance of sustainable balance of trade," he said.
By the end of 2011, India's trade deficit with China was USD 27 billion, and according to Chinese trade figures released in January, it expanded to USD 29 billion by 2012.
The Minister said this issue was very important for "not only our economic exchanges but also our working together on many global issues and closer cooperation. I believe this is happening in many areas such as global trade regimes and climate change."
Speaking about the future of ties between India and China, Khurshid said, "It is important how we see each other. Important thing is how we see ourselves.
"Will we see ourselves as rivals and competitors or will we see ourselves in multi-dimensional roles with each other collaborating, cooperating, competing, assisting, sharing and more importantly, if I can add an important word, 'caring' for each other," he said.
The Minister said language is "important to reach out to each other, clear cobwebs of the misunderstandings of the past, present and even of the future."
Commenting on the event, Khurshid said the media is a pillar of strength for India and its independence is an important dimension for its democracy.
"Media is a pillar of strength of our country and democracy. Not necessarily in agreement with the government... We hope this interaction (Media Forum) will help in constructive reporting and analysis methodology and understanding of each others' working systems," he said.
Noting that while reporting, there will be moments which will require critical care in conveying things that are important for both sides, the Minister urged media personnel from both sides to look at a possible methodology which allows trans-national or national interests to "prevail over the desire to report aggressively and extensively."
He said such a mechanism "cannot be dictated" and can be developed from within our systems and through professional training.
On social media, Khurshid said the government is still learning to deal with it as it is unlike mediums of the past and hoped that Chinese experiences in this field would be educating for it.
First Published: Monday, September 16, 2013, 14:39