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Rising trade deficit with China a matter of concern: Anand Sharma

April 13, 2011 - Sanya

Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, who is part of a high level delegation that is accompanying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the BRICS summit being held in China, has said that the mounting trade deficit is a matter of concern for India.

Sharma said that the rising trade deficit with China is matter of concern even though India seeks to increase trade with its BRICS counterpart.

"It has been discussed in the highest level. Prime Minister himself has recalled at Hanoi, in the India- ASEAN summit meeting between the two Prime Ministers. The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has specifically mentioned that it needs to be addressed and it has become a challenge.

"This issue was again discussed in detail with when India-China JEG met last January in Beijing. In meetings with my counterpart, Trade and Industry Minister of China and later when I had the privilege of meeting the Prime Minister of China, we had underscored India's concern," said Sharma.

India's trade deficit with China had touched $20 billion as the overall bilateral trade reached $55 billion as of December 2010.

The issue is expected to come up during the talks between Prime Minister Singh and President Hu Jintao on Wednesday (April 13).

Sharma said India had sought greater access to China's market in order to bridge the widening trade gap.

Meanwhile, the BRICS economies have zeroed down to sign the first of its kind credit agreement.

According to the new pact, the BRICS nations would be able to provide loans or line of credit to each other in their own local currencies instead of the predominant US dollar.

However, the understanding only confines to credit and not trade.

Ever since 2009 BRICS summit in Yekaterinburg, Russia, it has been talking about reforming international monetary system in which reserve currency is the focal point.

The BRICS group has emerged as a loose united front to press the rich Western economies, especially the United States, which has traditionally dominated global diplomacy.

Yet there are many disparities among the BRICS member countries, and the past two summits of the evolving group have not achieved much.

This time, strains over China's currency policies and trade surpluses could make concrete agreement difficult to reach.

The forthcoming BRICS Summit is the third in a row. The first one took place in Yekaterinburg in Russia on June 2009 while the second was hosted at Brasilia in April 2010.


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