India wants a greater access to the Chinese market and there has to be an “evenness and balancing” of the country’s huge trade deficit with China for the two nations to be able to move together on the path of progress, economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das said on Monday.
“For sustainable trade relationship, balance of trade is required between India & China,” the finance ministry said in a series of tweets attributed to Das after his meeting with a team of Chinese journalists earlier in the day. “We have trade deficit with China. We would like to increase our exports to China,” he said.
While total trade between the two nations in 2016 stood at $71 billion in 2016, India witnessed a massive trade deficit of $46 billion with China, the economic affairs secretary added.
Das pushed for greater access in at least pharmaceuticals, IT & software services and agriculture. He said Indian pharmaceutical companies can meet standards prescribed by China, as they already export to the US, which stipulates very high quality standards. “We are very strong in IT software and Pharma. We would like to export these to China along with fruits, fish & vegetables,” he added.
Maintaining that India values its economic relations with China, Das pitched for higher inflows of investments from that country. “Chinese President, during his visit to India in 2104, announced $20 bn investment in India (over 5-year period). It has started flowing now,” he said in the tweets. Analysts had earlier assumed that the investments from China would offset the damaging impact of the massive trade deficit to some extent.