Seriously address trade imbalance: China to India

India got an assurance from China that it will "seriously" address the unviable trade imbalance.

Shanghai: India today secured an assurance
from China that it will "seriously" address the unviable trade
imbalance that gives it a USD 16 billion surplus, even as it
opened for the first time its market for Indian agricultural
produce by allowing the maiden commercial consignment of

The assurance has been conveyed to President Pratibha
Patil by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and was reiterated in this
commercial capital of China by the Shanghai Municipal
Communist Party Secretary Yu Zhengsheng, Foreign Secretary
Nirupama Rao told reporters at the conclusion of the Indian
leader`s discussions with the Chinese leadership.

Rao said Wen, whom Patil had met in Beijing, had told
he would "seriously" look into the trade imbalance issue and
Yu today said addressing trade balance was part of their long
-term strategy.

In 2009, the trade imbalance tilted heavily against
India. China enjoyed trade surplus of USD 16 billion out of
the total USD 44 billion bilateral trade and its exports to
India nearly touched USD 30 billion last year.

"...They have assured us that it is something they take
very seriously and they understand that it unviable to sustain
such trade imbalance in medium-term and long-term," Rao said.

On the penultimate day of the 6-day State Visit, Patil
visited the India pavilion at the Shanghai Expo 2010, which
has the world`s biggest bamboo dome, as a "unique example" of
Sino-India harmony.

She pitched for green technologies to ensure
"good life" in cities and said the pavilion, which was built
jointly by Indians and Chinese, was a "unique example of the
harmony" between the two countries.

She also unveiled a statue of Nobel Laureate
Rabindranath Tagore in honour of his visit to this eastern
Chinese city that left a lasting impression on Chinese poets
and writers.

Rao said India has sent the first consignment of
mangoes to China for commercial purposes. Indian officials
said the country will "soon" export basmati rice.

"There has been first consignment of Alphanso mangoes
recently for commercial purposes and India did export mangoes
in 2006 but that was only for promotional purposes, so this
was for the first time a produce has been exported for
commercial purposes," Rao said.

Yu, also a member of the CPC politburo, told the
President that addressing trade balance was part of China`s
long-term strategy and huge trade surplus was not good and
that it was going to encourage its companies to take more
outbound activities, Rao said.

Asked whether any concerns on anti-dumping was also
raised, she said the anti-dumping investigations are on but
the issue was not raised in today`s meeting.

She also said both India and China were engaged in
consultations and discussions on these trade related issues
and with increasing trade between the two countries, the
government ensures transparency and predictability to avoid
any kind of protectionism.

It also ensures corrective measures, Rao said.

The President also said that Yu, who was well-informed
of India, was aware of the opportunities that exist in the
country and emphasised that both countries should work
together to achieve the target of USD 60 billion by the end of

Giving details of the trade figure in Shanghai region
alone, Rao said there were more than 100 Indian companies and
six banks in the region which contributes for over USD five

During her talks with Hu and Wen, Patil, the first
Indian Head of State to visit China in a decade, had sought
access to Indian pharmaceutical industry, IT and engineering

Indian Ambassador S Jaishankar said the embassy was
conducting business meets and presentations in 17 different
Chinese cities to create awareness about its pharmaceutical
industry, IT and engineering companies. "Out of 17, we have
already conducted three such meets," he said.

Yu identified areas like science and technology for
cooperation between the two countries.

Rao said Yu also appreciated the India pavilion saying
"it is widely applauded by the Chinese visitors" and also
talked about Rabindernath Tagore`s contribution to the Chinese
society of poets and writers.

India, which is otherwise competitive in manufacturing
and services, finds that 75 per cent of its exports to China
comprises commodities and raw materials like iron ore.

Industry sources said in sectors like IT,
pharmaceuticals, specialised engineering and manufacturing
there is scope for greater India-China cooperation that
needs to be exploited.


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