Pillai underlines need to strengthen trade with China

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New Delhi, Mar 19 (ANI): Commerce Secretary G K Pillai today said that in order to minimize the effects of global slowdown, both India and China need to strengthen the bilateral trade and economic relations.

Speaking at the India-China bilateral meeting here, Pillai requested the Chinese side to explore the possibility of more diversified exports from India.

"Given the immense potential the two countries have, in both production and the consumption capabilities, we need to work more closely to remove all the minor irritants that creep into our economic and trade relations", he added.

The bilateral meeting was attended by Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan and senior officials from both the countries.

During the discussions, Pillai said that two countries could gain a lot by providing faster market access to pharmaceuticals and drugs.

He also requested the Chinese side for granting market access to 14 fruits and vegetable at the earliest, as it was pending since long.

"Both sides felt that there is a need for increasing bilateral investments between the two countries. The main sectors for investments could be petrochemicals, steel, healthcare, IT, automobiles, biotechnology, renewable energy and low-carbon technologies," he said.

India-China bilateral trade during 2007-08 was to the tune of US 37.9 billion dollars (exports - US 10.8 billion dollars and imports US 27.1 billion dolllars).

The major items of exports from India to China are ores, cotton yarn and fabric, organic and inorganic chemicals, precious stones and metals and machinery while the major items of imports from China to India are electrical machinery, organic chemicals, Iron and steel, fertilizers and mineral fuel.

During the seventh session of the Joint Study Group (JSG) held in New Delhi, it was recommended that the existing Joint Economic Group on Economic Relations and Trade, Science and Technology mechanism be fully activated.

The eighth session of India-China JEG is to be held in Beijing. (ANI)

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