India's ballooning trade deficit with China is a matter of concern even as India seeks to increase trade with the neighbouring country, minister of commerce and industry Anand Sharma said.
His statement comes ahead of a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese President Hu Jintao on the sidelines of a BRICS summit in the Chinese resort of Sanya.
India's trade deficit with China had touched $20 billion even as overall bilateral trade reached $55 billion as of December 2010.
India, meanwhile, has sought greater access to China's market in order to bridge the widening trade gap. The issue is also expected to come up during the talks between Singh and Hu on Wednesday.
"Trade imbalance with China has been a matter of concern. It has been discussed at the highest level when the prime minister met Chinese President in Hanoi in October last," Sharma told journalists accompanying the prime minister.
Sharma said India had sought more access to Chinese markets across the board so that the gap could be bridged. China had also assured India that it would give access through government contracts in sectors like pharmaceuticals and IT.
Sharma is traveling with the prime minister to attend the BRICS summit and the preceding BRICS meeting of trade and economy ministers.
Replying to a question, Sharma said the stage has not reached where the Chinese currency Yuan can be an alternate to dollar for currency exchange for trade.
However, national security adviser Shivshanker Menon said the BRICS countries would be signing an agreement under which the five member countries could grant credit among themselves in own currency.
Menon said making Yuan as the international reserve currency was a larger issue that could not be settled by the five BRICS countries.