Millennium Post

Sushma talks to China FM under new framework, seeks solution to trade deficit

New Delhi: India on Friday said that there is a need to find a solution to its expanding trade deficit with China but largely expressed satisfaction over increasing trade and investment ties between the two countries. After holding wide-ranging talks with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also hoped that China will provide support for market access to Indian goods and services.

Bilateral trade between India and China rose by 18.63 per cent year-on-year and reached a historic high of $84.44 billion last year. However, the trade deficit continues to remain high at $51.75 billion in 2017.

"Our bilateral economic ties have progressed well. While our bilateral trade is on the rise, we also need to find a solution to the continuously increasing trade deficit," Swaraj said in her media statement in presence of Wang. She thanked the Chinese side for specific steps taken by it in recent times to address the issue.

"We are confident that we will receive continuous support from the Chinese side so that we can increase our trade in a sustainable and balanced way," she said. Swaraj and Wang held talks under the newly created framework — High Level Mechanism on Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges — which was agreed to during the Wuhan summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping. She also hoped that China will continue to provide cooperation for market access to India's goods and services.

The two ministers agreed on "10 pillars" of cooperation to enhance cultural and people-to-people exchanges. Swaraj said the two countries' armies are working to strengthen communication and implement confidence building measures that will help in maintaining peace and tranquility in border areas, which she said, is an important prerequisite for development of ties.

Swaraj said the special relationship between the two countries is not only important for the region but also for the world. "At a time of global uncertainty, the relationship between the two countries are a factor of stability," she said.

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