India, China to tango for trade, to set up dialogue mechanism

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New Delhi (NVI): The ‘Elephant’ and the ‘Dragon’ are all set to tango for trade, leaving their other differences behind. Indication to this effect came from the positive postures during the ‘Chennai Connect’, the recent second Informal Summit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, as the duo decided to establish a High-Level Economic and Trade Dialogue mechanism.

Another major outcome of the Summit has been the China agreeing to address India’s long-pending trade concerns including on pharma and software to reduce the massive trade deficit. Chinese ambassador to India Sun Weidong tweeted: “Dragon and Elephant have a tango,”.

“In pursuit of their efforts to further deepen economic cooperation and to enhance their closer development partnership, the two Leaders have decided to establish a High-Level Economic and Trade Dialogue mechanism with the objective of achieving enhanced trade and commercial relations, as well as to better balance the trade between the two countries,” a statement from Indian Ministry of External Affairs said after the Summit concluded.

Meanwhile, regarding Indian concerns of the trade deficit between New Delhi and Beijing, a Chinese Foreign Ministry said “the establishment of high-level trade dialogue mechanism offers opportunity to strengthen convergence on economic development, and Indian pharma and technology were welcome to invest in China.”

The details of the proposed trade dialogue mechanism between the two countries will be worked out by Indian Finance Minister Ms Nirmala Sitharaman and Chinese Vice President Hu Chunha.

“They have also agreed to encourage mutual investments in identified sectors through the development of a Manufacturing Partnership and tasked their officials to develop this idea at the first meeting of the High-Level Economic and Trade Dialogue. They shared the view that an open, inclusive, prosperous and stable environment in the region is important to ensure the prosperity and stability of the region. They also agreed on the importance of concluding negotiations for a mutually-beneficial and balanced Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership,” the statement added.

The statement said the two Leaders shared their mutual vision on goals for development of their respective economies. They agreed that the simultaneous development of India and China presents mutually-beneficial opportunities.

The two sides will continue to adopt a positive, pragmatic and open attitude and to enhance appreciation of each other’s policies and actions in line with the general direction of their friendship and cooperation. In this regard, they also agreed to continue to enhance strategic communication on all matters of mutual interest, and to continue the momentum of high-level exchanges by making full use of dialogue mechanisms.

It may be noted that Indian and Chinese companies had signed 129 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) in the run up to the Summit. The MoUs were signed for sectors like – agri-related products, minerals, textiles, food-processing, yarns, minerals etc.

“With a combined market of over 2.7 billion people and GDP of 20 per cent of the world’s total, China and India enjoy huge potential and broad prospects for economic and trade cooperation.” ZHU Xiaohong, Counselor, Embassy of People’s Republic of China had said while Speaking at the India-China Business Meeting and Signing Ceremony, organised by the FICCI, recently.

“From the current $75 billion trade, both the countries are looking at moving towards trade worth $100 billion.”, ZHU Xiaohong added. (NAD)

 

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