...even as regulators plan to set up information-sharing system

New Delhi, March 30 | Updated: Mar 31 2006, 05:30am hrs
India and China are, for the first time, opening a channel for the two countries financial sector regulators to interact and share information.

A high-level Chinese delegation led by vice minister-finance would visit India for a few days beginning April 7. The delegation will have discussions with senior finance ministry officials, including finance secretary Adarsh Kishore and economic affairs secretary Ashok Jha, official sources said.

The two sides will discuss macro economic situations of the two countries and that of Asia in general vis-a-vis the rest of the world, a senior finance ministry official told FE.

Mutual strengths and opportunities would be identified. In particular, attempts would be made to build up a channel between the financial sector regulators of the two countries.

The Reserve Bank of India, the Securities & Exchange Board of India and the Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority would be engaged in the exercise for mutually beneficial information sharing arrangements with their counterparts in China, the source added.

The aim is to create a web of information that the regulators in the two countries can use. The need for the information sharing system has been felt in view of the increasing presence of Indian companies in China and vice versa. A parallel move is on to explore the possibilities of cooperation between the two fast-growing economies in trade.

China is keen to have a free trade agreement with India, to gain greater access to Indian market for industrial goods.

A joint study group (JSG) had earlier explored the subject in detail. The options under consideration include preferential, free trade agreements and comprehensive economic cooperation agreements. A decision will have to be finally taken at the level of the prime ministers trade advisory group.