Rising trade imbalance cause of concern, Montek tells China

Written by Press Trust of India | Beijing | Updated: Mar 19 2014, 10:56am hrs
India on Tuesday raised its concerns with China over an "unsustainable" trade deficit of $35 billion per year as their top planners worked out strategies to join hands in upgrading Indian railway tracks to operate high-speed trains.

"I must, at this stage, mention the growing imbalance in our trade which is a cause of concern in India," Deputy Chief of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia said here, addressing the third Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) forum.

"Trade is an important indicator of economic cooperation and we are happy at the remarkable expansion that has taken place," he said, expressing hope that bilateral trade would reach the official target of $100 billion by 2015.

"We recognise that trade does not have to be balanced between each pair of countries. However, India's trade deficit over the last three successive years has been in excess of $ 35 billion per annum which is not sustainable," he said.

It needs to be reduced to sustainable levels by more exports from India to China, and also by China building manufacturing capacities in India for goods it currently exports, Ahluwalia said.

In Railways, the two sides agreed to pursue specific collaboration arrangements in heavy haul, station redevelopment and raising speed of existing trains in India.

Nodal agencies have been designated to work out implementation of modalities in this regard, a press release issued at the end of the talks said.