PRNBSeeking a “more equitable” bilateral trade, India today sought from China greater market for its products like drugs and pharmaceuticals, IT and IT related services and agro-products.

“Although the trade balance continues to be in favour of China, we look forward to expanding our commerce to make it more equitable,” President Pranab Mukherjee said while addressing a meeting of the India-China Business Forum here on the second day of his four-day visit to China.

“India would like to see a greater market for our products in China – particularly in sectors where we have natural complementarities as in the areas of drugs and pharmaceuticals, IT and IT related services and agro- products,” he said in the southern Chinese industrial hub.

Trade deficit between India and China has risen to USD 44.7 billion during April-January period of 2015-16.

India’s exports to China stood at USD 7.56 billion during the period whereas the imports has jumped to USD 52.26 billion in April-January. In 2014-15, the deficit was aggregated at USD 48.48 billion, according to official figures.

The president also promised a conducive environment for Chinese investors and urged them to participate in ‘Make in India’ and other flagship programmes of the government to boost bilateral trade.

“We will facilitate your efforts to make your investments in India profitable. We must take advantage of the opportunities that abound in the growth of both our economies,” he said at the forum, attended by industrialists and businessmen of both sides.

He said China’s economic achievements are a source of inspiration for India.

“We believe that stepping up our two way trade and investment flows will be of mutual benefit to both our nations. Our bilateral trade has grown steadily since the turn of this century. From USD 2.91 billion in the year 2000, it reached the level of USD 71 billion last year,” he noted.

Guangdong province boasts of a USD one trillion economy with high manufacturing and other industries along with being a powerful export house of China. It has sister province relationship with Gujarat and Maharashtra.

A pilot smart city cooperation project has been announced between Shenzhen and the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City in Gujarat last year.

Referring to the links of 2nd century before the Christian era between Guangdong and Kanchipuram through a direct sea route, Mukherjee said this is an exciting time for India and China to reinforce the old linkages and join hands for new.