India’s trade deficit with China rises to $53 billion

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On Monday, Parliament was informed that India’s trade deficit with China amplified to $52.69 billion in 2015-16 from $48.48 billion in the last financial year.

During the April-September period of 2016-17, the deficit is at $25.22 billion, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “Increasing trade deficit with China can be attributed primarily to the fact that Chinese exports to India rely strongly on manufactured items to meet the demand of fast expanding sectors like telecom and power”.

India is negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreement keeping in view “its offensive export interests” as well as sensitivities with respect to all participating countries including China, she said.

She also said that as India and China are both members of the World Trade Organization (WTO), any trade restrictions imposed requires to be WTO compliant. She further said, “No blanket can be imposed on China, or any other member country, under the WTO framework.

In a separate reply, the minister said that the government has not yet decided on granting relaxation of sourcing condition in the single brand retail sector to three companies.

“Efforts are being made for revival of (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient) API industry to lessen dependency on import of key starting materials, intermediates and bulk drugs including from China,” the Minister said.

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