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Thursday, May 30, 2002

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CII for working group to boost trade with China

Ashwini Phadnis


THE Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has suggested the constitution of a working group to identify hurdles and barriers and suggest remedies for India and China to accelerate bilateral trade and investment.

"Though bilateral trade, which is almost balanced, is growing rapidly, there is need to accelerate the current momentum if the level is to touch $10 billion. In this context, the setting up of an inter-Governmental action team to commit itself to the target is likely to prove very beneficial," CII's Senior Advisor, Mr T.K. Bhuamik, said.

As regards the constitution of the working group, the chamber has suggested that it have representation from both the Government and industry.

CII has estimated that at the current rate, Indo-Chinese bilateral trade is likely to touch $7 billion by 2005 and has said that to touch the $10-billion level there is need to accelerate the growth in trade in existing items, besides bringing in additional items in the basket of goods being exported and imported.

To achieve the objective of bilateral trade touching the $10-billion mark, the chamber has suggested India and China build intra-sectoral linkages in various sectors including textiles, food processing, automobiles, information technology, polymers and plastics, natural systems of medicines and pharmaceuticals.

"The idea of building intra-sectoral linkages is a medium-term strategy to achieve the $10-billion bilateral trade target. However, work on this will have to start now," officials said. Besides, CII has also suggested holding of product exhibitions and roadshows in India and China to boost trade ties.

Further, the chamber has identified cereal and cereal products, crude rubber, iron-ore, polymer products, textile yarn, synthetic fibre yarn, home furnishings and appliances as some of the products, which India can sell to China.

On the other hand, the items which China can sell to India include raw materials for fertilisers, refinery products, finished leather, telecom equipment, optical instruments and goods and domestic electrical appliances.

India's trade with China grew by 25 per cent during 2000-01 rising to $2.29 billion.

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