The three working groups on trade, services sector co-operation and enhancing investments by Chinese firms in special economic zones (SEZs), set up between India and China, will meet in February to negotiate various issues affecting bilateral trade and investments, Joint Secretary in the Commerce Ministry Asit Tripathy said here on Thursday.. The launch of the first China-South Asia Exposition at Kunming where India was invited to take part was also announced at an event organised here by the India China Economic and Cultural Council.Among these working groups, one is on trade statistics anomalies. For instance, as per Indian data, the trade deficit between India and China was about $40 billion in 2011-12, while the Chinese side estimated it at $27 billion for the same period, he said.

“So what is the modality employed by us for trade estimates and what is by them, we need to work on it,’’ he added.

The other two groups are related to services sector co-operation and five-year co-operation between India and China across sectors such as encouraging investments, participation of Chinese firms in SEZs. “We are looking at China, Korea and Japan not only for trade in goods, but also in services and investments sectors,” he said.

Economic Counsellor of Chinese Embassy said the upcoming event in Kunming was an excellent opportunity to extend the business co-operation between Yunnan province and India. Ajay Sahai, Director-General, Federation of Indian Export Organisations, said industry was focusing on China as an emerging market, particularly in sectors absorbing large labour force. The shift was taking place from commodity exports to manufactured goods but India had to move to value-added segment of exports. This would be the only way to reduce the widening trade deficit, he said.

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