Bilateral trade between India and China, which amounted to a mere $2.3 billion in 2000-01, is expected to top the $100 billion-mark by 2015.
Expressing confidence about meeting this target, Anand Sharma, India's commerce, industry and textiles minister, however, raised concerns with a visiting Chinese delegation about the growing trade deficit on the Indian side. Last fiscal, while bilateral trade between the two Asian giants amounted to $59.62 billion, the deficit for India stood at $20.8 billion.
''A balanced trade is needed for long-term, sustainable and harmonious development of economic cooperation between the two countries,'' Sharma told Nur Bekri, governor of Xinjiang province, who is visiting India. ''The area of drugs and pharmaceuticals is an important segment of our efforts to diversify our bilateral trade basket. Both sides need to work aggressively towards removing administrative bottlenecks and overly restrictive regulatory measures.''
Sharma noted that China had set a target of 100 GW of power generation through renewable sources of energy. He was also present at the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Gujarat government and China's Tebian Electric Apparatus Stock Co (TBEA), which makes high-voltage transformers, for setting up a plant in Gujarat with an initial investment of $100 million.
TBEA also plans to invest an additional $300 million over the next two to three years in a green energy park project in Gujarat. The company will manufacture transformers at the park and export them to Africa and the Middle East, besides selling them in India.
The move to set up a plant in India follows a decision by state-owned Power Grid Corporation of India, to make it compulsory for overseas equipment suppliers to establish plants in the country to participate in tenders.
The Chinese company is the world's third-largest transformer manufacturer and has been supplying equipment to India.
Growing trade ties between India and China have seen many regional leaders from the two nations undertaking visits. Recently, Nitish Kumar and Shivraj Singh Chouhan, chief ministers of Bihar and Madhya Pradesh respectively, visited China, while Narendra Modi, the Gujarat chief minister, is also visiting the country later this month. (Also see: India aims to double exports to $500 bn in three years)