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Open China market to Indian IT and pharma products: Montek Singh Ahluwalia
September, 27th 2011

India today urged China to open its huge markets to Indian IT and pharma products to bring about balance in bilateral trade.

"I believe the Chinese side is aware of our market access concerns," said Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia at the first Strategic Economic Dialogue ( SED) between the two countries here.

Praising the giant strides made by China in its economic development, he said that India looks to China to open its markets for IT and Pharma.

"Taking a strategic view of our relationship, I hope that they would consider a more positive approach in sectors like IT and Pharmaceuticals, where I believe India's competitiveness is not in doubt, and where there is great unrealised potential," said Ahluwalia.

Although the bilateral trade crossed USD 61 billion this year, India was left with deficit of over USD 40.9 billion due to accelerated exports from China.

Besides pressing China to open its IT and pharmaceutical market, which Indian official think holds huge potential, India also conducted high voltage campaigns to raise awareness in China about the strides Indian companies made in the two sectors.

"This will not only help project our overall economic partnership as a win-win situation but give Chinese companies more options in their own growth trajectory," Ahluwalia argued.

"I would encourage our Chinese colleagues to be equally candid about expressing their concerns. Both sides should discuss ways of improving the investment climate as that is essential to raise our economic relationship to a higher level," he added.

Ahluwalia said India is also interested in stepping up cooperation with China on railways development. "I am very happy that this group will also provide an opportunity for interaction between our senior railway officials. We view this as a critical area for development of infrastructure and also promotion of energy efficiency."

Apparently referring to strides made by China in high speed train technology and network, he said, "We are aware of China's impressive achievements in the railways sector. Our past exchanges have been relatively limited. I believe we can do better and I hope that we can look at the future with a more open mind."

The discussions on railway related issues were conducted by Vinay Mittal, Chairman Railway Board, Kul Bhushan, Adviser (Electrical) and R K Jain Adviser (Infrastructure) of the Railway Board.

Two sides also held in-depth talks on 'Energy Conservation and Environment Protection' issues.

The talks on these issues is very important as India envision a broader economic collaboration, Ahluwalia said.

"A better understanding of energy efficiency policies and practices in our respective countries as well as policies on renewable energy, specially wind, solar power and other renewables could be the basis for building more partnerships between our enterprises," he said.

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