11 Oct :Shri Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State for Commerce, has stated that China is India’s biggest trading partner and India is 10th biggest trade partner for China, and added that India is taking all necessary steps for diversifying its trade basket. During the interaction with the Chinese business delegation which was led by the Chinese Vice Minister, Mr. Gao Hucheng, here today, Shri Ramesh said that India and China should look ahead to explore the possibility of commencing discussions on a mutually beneficial RTA that meets the common aspirations of both countries. The meeting was attended by senior officials from both the countries.
As regards market access for Indian agricultural products into China, especially fruits & vegetables, Shri Ramesh noted that the Chinese side has allowed entry for only 3 items – mangoes, grapes and bitter-gourd – out of 17 and hoped that the rest of the pending fruits and vegetables would be grouped into two groups for a simultaneous finalization of SPS protocols.
Both sides noted that there is a need to increase bilateral investments between the two countries, particularly in sectors like petrochemicals, steel, healthcare, IT automobiles, biotechnology, advanced materials, renewable energy and low carbon technologies.
During the year 2007-08, India’s major exports to China are: iron ore, raw cotton, ores & minerals, plastic & linoleum and machinery & instruments. India’s major imports from China are: electronic goods, machinery, iron & steel, organic chemicals and other commodities.