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Indo-China working groups on services, trade to meet next month

NEW DELHI: India will press for more market access in sectors like IT andpharmaceuticals during the meetings of the working groups, which are expected to meet next month, set up to enhance trade and investment with China. 

Both the sides have established three groups related to services sector co-operation, five-year co-operation between India and China across sectors and trade statistics. 

As the trade deficit between the two countries have touched USD 40 billion in 2011-12, India is pressing hard to get greater market access in China, the world's second-biggest
economy, in segments like pharmaceuticals, agriculture and information technology. 

"Next month the groups will meet," Commerce Secretary S R Rao told PTI. 

Rao said that both the sides have nominated members for two working groups and "at the end of this month, we are expecting that China will nominate the members for the last group".

He hoped that by mid-September, the groups would submit the reports to their respective governments. 

Prime Minister 
Manmohan Singh is expected to visit China during the end of the year. 

During the May visit of Chinese Premier 
Li Keqiang, both the sides sought to further improve their bilateral relations and firmed up eight agreements to enhance cooperation in a range of areas, including trade, culture and water resources. 

India's top exports to China include ore, fabrics, copper, precious stones and metals, while imports are machinery, iron and steel, fertilisers and silk. 

In 2012, bilateral trade between the two countries was USD 66 billion, a decline from over the USD 74 billion in 2011. The two countries have set a target of USD 100 billion by 2015 for bilateral trade. 

During April 2000 and March 2013, China has invested only USD 278.31 million (Rs 1,428.48 crore) in India.