In 2012-13, India’s trade deficit with China was about $39 billion, gainst a deficit of $37 billion in 2011-12.

India, on Monday, asked China to provide more market access, asserting that the widening trade deficit was not sustainable in the long run.

“What is worrying for the government and Indian industry is that we have a large trade deficit. So, we need to collaborate with each other. Uneven trade like this is not sustainable in long run,’’ Commerce Ministry Joint Secretary Asit Tripathy said at the India-China Business Matchmaking Symposium, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here.

In 2012-13, India’s exports to China stood at $13.53 billion, while imports stood at $52.24 billion. The trade deficit was about $39 billion. This was against a deficit of $37 billion in 2011-12. “There are tax and market access related issues in China while exporting petroleum products, ores, minerals, plastic, dyes and others. In agriculture, a lot of products are going to China like sesame seeds, groundnut. Oil meals trade have disrupted,’’ he added.

Mr. Tripathy expressed hope that both sides would resolve all outstanding issues to increase shipments from India to China to bridge the huge trade deficit. “I am sure that in the coming days, we will handle it so that trade can grow. Products are excellent in quality and quite competitive in the world market. Indian products are of high quality and competitive at the world stage, so there is no reason why Chinese consumers and industry cannot look at it,’’ he said.

Chinese Trade Development Bureau Vice-Director General Jia Guoyong responded by saying that his government was taking all steps to increase imports from India. “We have a long-term strategy to enhance trade with India. We are optimising imports of hi-tech equipment and simplifying import management manners to facilitate imports. We are encouraging business delegation visit for import promotion mechanism,’’ Mr. Guoyong said.

Both sides also signed 15 MoUs worth $338 million for procurement of various products. The products included zinc concentrates and copper concentrates, cotton yarn, frozen fish/linter, cotton and cotton yarn, menthol, castor oil and guar gum, acrylic tow, Indian granite block and cedrus deodara seed.

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