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PM conveys trade imbalance concerns to China’s Wen

PM conveys trade imbalance concerns to China’s Wen
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday invited Chinese investments in the infrastructure sector while conveying India’s concerns over trade imbalance to his counterpart Wen Jiabao, who said this could be addressed ‘gradually’.

India and China will be holding the second Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED) in Delhi later this month with an aim of enhancing business engagement between the two of the fastest growing economies, significantly at a time when the western world is facing crisis.

After the SED, a date will be decided for the next round of talks between Special Representatives of the two countries on boundary and other issues, to be held in China shortly.

At the 40-minute meeting here on the sidelines of ASEAN Summit, the two leaders discussed a wide range of subjects including economic cooperation, boundary issue, defence, maritime security, besides international matters.

Both the leaders agreed that there is enough space for both India and China to develop while expanding cooperation between them side by side. Wen said this was the guiding principle of his country’s approach towards India.

‘The economic engagement was given a great deal of importance by the Prime Minister in his remarks,’ Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai told journalists while briefing on the ‘fruitful and detailed’ meeting, the 14th between the two leaders during the last eight years.

Singh emphasised that he was committed to working for realisation of ‘full potential’ of economic cooperation between the two countries, Mathai said.

Singh referred to Indian exports and ‘emphasised the need for greater market access for Indian exports particularly in areas of Services, IT and Pharma’, Mathai said.

The Prime Minister also welcomed Chinese investment in infrastructure sector which he said would help create employment and help bridging trade deficit between the two countries. Wen responded by saying he was, ‘looking forward to gradual balancing of trade and they (China) were cognizant of India’s particular interest in these areas.’  Mathai said Singh mentioned to Wen the need for action on enhancing Indian exports to China.

‘This has been subject of many discussions in the past. So it is recognised that it is very high priority for India. The Prime Minister mentioned specifically areas of Services and pharmaceuticals but spoke in terms of need for greater market access. He highlighted these areas in terms of need for accelerating exports to China,’ the Foreign Secretary said.

He said the two Prime Ministers also discussed the visit of National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, India’s Special Representative on boundary talks, to Beijing in the context of ongoing dialogues.

Singh said the NSA would be visiting Beijing fairly soon for talks with Chinese representative Dai Bingguo, Mathai said, adding the dates will be finalised immediately after Strategic Economic Dialogue. The Special Representatives have so far held 15 rounds of talks on the boundary question. Singh and Wen also discussed defence exchanges which are important for maintaining the ‘sense of tranquility and cooperation between the two countries.’ They just endorsed the need for pursuing these frameworks, Mathai said.

During the meeting, Wen said it was remarkable that two ancient civilisations were set on the path of revitalisation.

The bilateral relations over the last eight years continued to improve and the two countries established Strategic and Cooperative Partnership, Wen said. On boundary question, the two sides continued active dialogue between Special Representatives, even though not all differences have been resolved, but a joint mechanism has been set up for maintaining peace and tranquility, Wen said.

He said he had ‘memorable experience’ of working with Singh.

The new leadership will give great importance to relations with India, the Chinese Premier said.

Wen said peaceful co-existence and close cooperation between China and India not only benefited the people of the two countries, but also helped to promote world peace and prosperity.

‘China and India should enhance bilateral communication and coordination in implementing macro-economic policies through strategic dialogues, and promote infrastructure cooperation,’ Wen was quoted as saying by state-run Xinhua news agency. The Chinese government encouraged Chinese enterprises to participate in major construction projects in India, he said.
PTI

PTI

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