Reduce duties on cotton fabric, India tells China



India has asked China to slash import duties on cotton fabric and expedite implementation of the pacts signed for export of buffalo meat and fishery products in order to bridge the growing trade deficit with the country.

In a meeting between senior Foreign Ministry officials here on Tuesday, the two sides discussed ways to increase exports from India in order to contain the trade deficit that has widened to $40.8 billion in 2012-13 from $39.4 billion in 2011-12, despite a 10 per cent contraction in total trade during the year.

The officials also discussed the need for setting up service centres in India for servicing the large number of power equipment exported by China.

“India has proposed reducing duty of the cotton fabrics being imported into China from the current 10 per cent to 5 per cent. It has the potential of enhancing cotton fabric exports from nt $ 700 million to $ 6 billion in three-five years,” a Foreign Minsitry official said.

India is also hoping to export buffalo meat and fishery products to China soon. Both countries signed three MoUs for export of buffalo meat, marine products, pharmaceuticals and oilmeal during Chinese Premiere Li Keqiang’s visit to the country in May this year.

According to estimates made by farm export body APEDA, India’s export of bovine meat to China could touch $1 billion in the first two years itself.

Meanwhile, Commerce & Industry Minister Anand Sharma, too, raised the issue of increasing trade deficit with Chinese Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng in Brunei On Tuesday.

Sharma drew the Minister’s attention to India’s pending request for facilitating exports of pharmaceuticals, agricultural products, buffalo meat and Information Technology services.

Source: The Hindu