In a move ostensibly to reduce the trade imbalance between India and China, Beijing has invited Indian businesses to participate in the China International Import Expo (CIIE) to be held in November – the first exhibition planned by the country focussing on imports. “Chinese Trade Minister Zhong Shan, in his recent interaction with Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu, pointed out that CIIE was a mea-sure adopted by the Chinese government to continue its opening up process and the exposure it offered could help increase India’s exports to China,” a government official was quoted as saying in a Hindu Business Line report. “It is clear that through the import expo, China is trying to give a message that while the US economy is getting protectionist, China is taking steps to promote the ideals of globalisation. But we need the country to go beyond and offer us concrete market access in agriculture, pharmaceuticals and IT/ITeS,” the official added.
China will hold the CIIE in Shanghai and has invited both the business community and government officials to explore the opportunities. “The Chinese Minister said that he hoped to see more Indian companies participating in CIIE and also expected that through this participation India would see increased share in the Chinese market,” the official said. The two Mini|sters were interacting at the Joint Economic Group meeting in New Delhi recently. India had complained to Beijing about the sharp rise in trade imbalance between the two countries over the past few years. India’s trade deficit with China in 2016-17 was $51-bn, which is about a third of India’s total trade deficit. Mr. Zhong said in the next five years, China was expected to import products and services worth $10 trillion and India, too, would benefit from it.
As an expression of his goodwill towards India, Zhong said that although the trade fair was already over-booked, he would ensure some space was available for Indian companies if they showed interest, the official said. The Chinese import expo is expected to attract around 1.5 lakh domestic and foreign purchasers and have participation from more than 100 countries.
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