Modi-Xi meet: High-level economic dialogue mechanism proposed to reduce trade deficit, improve bilateral investment
PTI Photo

Mahabalipuram: India and China will set up a High-Level Economic and Trade Dialogue mechanism to deepen economic cooperation and also sort out the concerns pertaining to the bilateral trade issues, said Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale.

He also said official level actions will be taken in both the countries in less than a year to fructify the decisions taken at the two informal India-China Summits held till now.

He was briefing the media on the decisions taken at the Second Informal India-China meet held here and also at a beach resort near here between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on October 11-12.

Queried about the decisions taken on the bilateral trade between the two nations and the trade deficit hugely tilted against India, Gokhale said Xi remarked his country is ready to take forward the issue of reducing the trade deficit.

Gokhale said the two leaders have decided to set up a new elevated mechanism represented by the Finance Minister and the Chinese Vice Premier as members to discuss on how to reduce the trade deficit, improving bilateral investments and manufacturing.

The bilateral trade between India and China is about $87 billion.

According to Gokhale, the Chinese President had told Modi that his country invites Indian investments in pharmaceutical and information technology sectors.

Xi also assured Modi that India's concern on trade issues will be taken into account.

Modi and Xi recognized that India and China have a common interest in preserving and advancing a rules-based and inclusive international order, including through reforms that reflect the new realities of the 21st Century.

Both agreed that it is important to support and strengthen the rules-based multilateral trading system at a time when globally agreed trade practices and norms are being selectively questioned.

India and China will continue to work together for open and inclusive trade arrangements that will benefit all countries. When asked about the US-China trade war and India-China trade Gokhale said the two has not direct relationship.

There is significant market in China for Indian companies and vice versa, Gokhale said.

On the climate change, Modi and Xi underscored the important efforts being made in their respective countries to address global developmental challenges, including climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Gokhale said the issue of Kashmir was not discussed by Modi and Xi during their discussions and India is clear that it is an internal affair.

The Foreign Secretary also said the two leaders agreed that radicalization is of mutual concern but there was no specific discussion on terror.

Gokhale said both Modi and Xi are concerned that terrorism. As countries that are large and diverse, they recognized the importance of continuing to make joint efforts to ensure that the international community strengthens the framework against training, financing and supporting terrorist groups throughout the world and on a non-discriminatory basis.

He said Xi spoke about Pakistan as its Prime Minister Imran Khan had recently visited China.

They shared the view that an open, inclusive, prosperous and stable environment in the region is important to ensure the prosperity and stability of the region.

The two leaders also agreed on the importance of concluding negotiations for a mutually-beneficial and balanced Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

According Gokhale, Modi and Xi exchanged views on the age-old commercial linkages and people-to-people contacts between India and China in the past two millennia, including significant maritime contacts.

They also agreed on establishment of sister-state relations between Tamil Nadu and Fujian Province, exploring the possibility of establishing an academy to study links between Mahabalipuram and Fujian province on the lines of the experience between Ajanta and Dunhuang and conducting research on maritime links between China and India in view of our extensive contacts over the centuries.

On the timeframe for the officials of the both the nations to actualise the decisions taken at the informal summit Gokhale said it will be done in less than a year.

He said Xi was satisfied with the results of such informal summits and had invited Modi to China for the third one.

Modi has accepted the invitation and the dates for the same will have be finalised.

During his meeting with Xi, Modi had spoken about increasing the flow of tourists between India and China.

Modi also spoke about increasing people-to-people relations between the two nations apart from increasing the flow of tourists.

Modi and Xi also agreed to take measures on improving the mutual trust between the militaries of the two nations.

In this connection, an invitation to the Defence Minister to visit China was extended by Xi.

Gokhale said there were some discussions on regional and international issues.

Queried about the border issues, Modi and Xi exchanged views and said the Special Representatives will continue their talks to arrive at a mutually-agreed framework for a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement based on Political Parameters and Guiding Principles that were agreed by the two sides in 2005.

They reiterated their understanding that efforts will continue to be made to ensure peace and tranquility in the border areas, and that both sides will continue to work on additional Confidence Building Measures in pursuit of this objective.

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