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India wants China to open its market to Indian firms

Amid concerns over the widening trade deficit, India today hoped that China will open up its market to Indian companies and promised to make it easier for Chinese firms to do business in India.

“A critical change in nature of our bilateral ties over the last few decades has been its growing economic dimension. China is today our largest partner in trade in goods. The two economies are moving to invest each other,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said.

“Serious discussions on enhancing connectivity have been initiated. On that foundation, we are now seeking to take our economic cooperation to a qualitatively new level,” she said addressing the the second India-China Media Forum.

Swaraj said the ‘Closer Development Partnership’ agreed upon during President Xi Jinping’s visit to India in September last year symbolises the resolve to enhance economic ties.

She said a significant new area of collaboration include railways sector where the two countries are cooperating in areas like heavy haulage, speed upgradation, station development and capacity building.

“Another major thrust is in establishing industrial parks in two Indian states that would contribute to the ‘Make in India’ initiative,” she said.

“We will make it easier for Chinese companies to do business in India and expect that similar encouragement would be given to our companies to expand their business in China,” Swaraj, who arrived here yesterday on a four-day visit, said.

China has promised to address the USD 38 billion deficit in over USD 70 billion bilateral trade in 2014 and the issue will feature during Swaraj’s talks with top Chinese leaders.

“We expect that the momentum that has been set in the last few months would not only be kept up but accelerated event further at various levels,” Swaraj said.

Tomorrow she will launch the ‘2015: Visit India Year’ in China.

Describing tourism is an effective vehicle to promote people-to-people understanding, she said the two countries have agreed that they need to make stronger efforts in that regard.

“As both our countries play a larger international role, our contacts and dialogues must commensurately grow. As the two major civilisational powers of Asia we should have confidence in each other, to build on our shared interests. I expect discussions during this visit to contribute to this objective,” she said.