What is a cause of serious worry for us is the composition of trade with China, says Sharma

Asserting that Indian exporters and entrepreneurs deserved a greater access to Chinese markets in sectors such as pharmaceutical and IT, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, on Thursday, said India had taken up the issue with the Chinese leadership at the highest level.

“We have a huge trade deficit with China, and what is a cause of serious worry for us is the composition of trade with China as India remains an exporter of raw material and importer of finished manufactured goods. This is untenable, and we have taken this up at the highest level,” Mr. Sharma said while speaking at a function to mark the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of Indian Institute of Foreign Trade here. India’s estimated trade deficit of $39.65 billion was in favour of China.

Mr. Sharma said India had taken the issue of ballooning trade deficit with the Chinese leadership. “Indian exporters need more access in sectors like pharama and IT. We must also remain mindful of the fact that China has emerged as our largest trading partner at $69 billion which is a natural phenomena given our geographical proximity with it,” he added.

Referring to the India-EU free trade agreement, Mr. Sharma said the negotiations were at an advanced stage. “Our negotiators are working within the defined mandate. The negotiators are taking care of all the sensitivities and concerns of the domestic industry, and ensure that we get more access to markets in sectors such as textiles, pharma and IT,” he said.

He said the situation in the eurozone continued to be grim. While Japan and the U.S. were facing challenges, parts of North Africa and the Middle East which experienced turbulent uprisings were yet to find a stable equilibrium. “Our initiative of diversification of export market has yielded positive results,” he said.

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