For curbing deficit, trade secy to review investment cooperation during visit

Written by Kirtika Suneja | New Delhi | Updated: May 21 2013, 06:06am hrs
In a move to review and fast-track the deliverables committed regarding trade and investment cooperation, commerce secretary SR Rao will visit China on May 27 to meet his Chinese counterpart and discuss the progress made by various working groups set up by India and China. His visit will be followed by commerce minister Anand Sharmas visit to Beijing.

To enhance trade, both sides have decided to set up three working groups under the joint economic group. The three groups are services trade promotion working group, economic and trade planning cooperation group and trade statistical analysis group.

In 2012, trade between the two countries was $66 billion, a decline from over the $74-billion mark in 2011. The two countries have set a bilateral trade target of $100 billion by 2015.

Last year, the countries had agreed to constitute three working groups with time-bound deliverables on a five-year development plan for China-India trade and economic cooperation, trade and investment, including trade data reconciliation and cooperation in trade in services.

India has notified the composition of all the three working groups There is a concern that no real progress in framing the terms of reference and constitution of the groups could be achieved due to lack of response from Chinese side in the last eight months. The commerce secretary will review the progress during his visit, said a commerce ministry official.

Apart from this, New Delhi will also discuss the widening trade deficit with its largest trading partner. Trade between India and China has witnessed exponential growth during the last few years. Bilateral trade had gone up from $2.09 billion in 2001-02 to a high of $75.59 billion in 2011-12 having tapered to $67.83 billion during 2012-13. Indias trade deficit rose from $1.08 billion in FY02 to $40.77 billion in FY13.This growing trade deficit is a matter of great concern for us, the official added.