Continues to order raw material, ignores manufactured goods

China is making efforts to buy more from India to address the growing trade imbalance between the two countries. But Chinese companies continue to be interested in buying mostly primary products from India and largely ignore manufactured items.

In an India-China Business Matchmaking Symposium for boosting exports from India to China in New Delhi this week, the 15 MoUs signed between Indian and Chinese companies worth $338 million mainly involved zinc & copper concentrates, cotton yarn & lint and frozen fish.

The symposium was part of the efforts undertaken jointly by the two Governments to bridge the trade deficit (in China’s favour) which crossed $40 billion in 2012-13.

“The fact that we mostly export raw materials and primary products to China is one of great concern to us. We hope to change that and expect to sell more higher value items to them like pharmaceuticals and IT products,” a Commerce Department official told Business Line.

With the operationalisation of the MoU on co-operation on pharma between the China Chamber of Commerce for Import and Export of Medicines and Health Products (CCCMHPIE) and the Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil) signed earlier this year, Indian generic drugs are expected to get greater market access in China, an official release said.

In August, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma was assured by his Chinese counterpart Gao Hucheng that the country would make every effort to facilitate imports from India for bridging the trade imbalance.

Earlier, during the visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to India in May, both sides fixed a bilateral trade target of $100 billion by 2015, and agreed to take measures to address the issue of trade imbalance.

These included cooperation on pharmaceutical supervision including registration, stronger links between Chinese enterprises and Indian IT industry, and completion of phytosanitary negotiations on agro-products.

amiti.sen@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on September 25, 2013)
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