Will discuss counter strategies to the TPP and TTIP treaties

India and China will discuss in Beijing on Tuesday counter strategies to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) being negotiated by the U.S.

Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia is leading the Indian delegation to Beijing for the India-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (SED). On the Chinese side, National Development and Reform Commission Chairman Xu Shaoshi will lead the dialogue.

“Developed economies are re-thinking long established rules of engagement…the ongoing regional and global norm-setting in the economic sphere makes it imperative for India and China to work closely as we share intersecting regional and global interests,” a source close to the negotiations told The Hindu.

“We need to preserve the primacy of the development agenda in the global mainstream and in leading economic frameworks like the G20 and the WTO.”

The development assumes significance as, “The two agreements are globally seen as thinly veiled attempts to carve out China, Brazil, India, and other emerging economies from World Trade Organization talks,” says a World Bank blog post.

The fourth round of European Union-United States TTIP negotiations concluded on Friday in Brussels. The pact will harmonise standards and licensing procedures and waive tariffs across EU-U.S. trade zone.

The TPP is similar and includes the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, Chile, Canada, Mexico and Peru.

Also on the SED agenda is ways for addressing the “unsustainability of the imbalance” in Indo-China trade.

Indo-China trade was $74 billion in 2011. And it went down to $65 billion in 2013. Both governments have set a $100-billion target by 2015. However, India’s trade deficit with China worsened to $31.5 billion in 2013, according to Chinese data. Indian data was expected show an even wider deficit, said the sources. Indian products face significant access barriers such as regulatory impediments in China. “Chinese product approval timelines extend up to 5-6 years, especially in the pharma and the IT services sectors,” the sources said.

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