Raising the issue of a big trade imbalance in favour of China, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday told his counterpart Wen Jiabao it needs to be corrected for a “more conducive” business environment even as he invited greater engagement with the world’s fastest growing economy.

Dr. Singh and Mr. Wen discussed the issue of “robust” economic ties during their meeting here, as they recognised that it was the “core” of the relationship.

The Prime Minister “underlined the need for balanced trade to create more conducive environment pertaining to considerably untapped potential,” Secretary (East) in the External Affairs Ministry Sanjay Singh told reporters while briefing on the meeting.

The two leaders met on the sidelines of the ASEAN and East Asia Summits.

The trade gap in favour of China has been a matter of concern in India, as it is linked particularly to the closed services sector in China. China had a trade surplus of $20 billion with India in 2010.

Sanjay Singh said the two leaders expressed happiness over bilateral trade crossing $60 billion mark in 2010. It is projected to touch $70 billion this year. They expressed confidence that the trade target of $ 100 billion would be achieved by 2015.

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