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Top commerce team to visit China to discuss trade deficit

BEIJING: A high-powered Indian commerce delegation would visit here next week for talks with Chinese officials to discuss initiatives to broaden market access for Indian products in China and address New Delhi's concerns over the ballooning trade deficit. 

Days after Premier Li Keqiang's visit, Commerce Secretary S R Rao along with Additional Secretaries Rajiv Kher and J S Deepak would arrive here on a four-day visit from May 27 to take part in the Global Services Forum being organised by 
UNCTAD, the UN trade agency and the prestigious China International Fair for Trade and Services. 

During their visits here the Indian Commerce officials delegation would also take part in bilateral meetings with their counterparts in the Chinese Commerce Ministry, official sources here told PTI. 

The meetings would be taking place in the immediate backdrop of Li's visit to India this week where he said China understands India's concerns over the 
trade deficit which ballooned to $28.87 billion in 2012 from $9.38 billion in 2007 and promised steps to facilitate market access to Indian products. 

Also the meeting is expected discuss initiatives to boost the bilateral trade, which has come down to $66.47 billion last year from about $74 billion in 2011. 

The two countries set the target of USD 100 billion in 
bilateral trade by 2015 during Li's visit. 

India has been specifically asking China to open up its public sector services, specially banks and other financial institutions to specialised Indian software products which would also enable Chinese firms to become more competitive. 

Besides India is also making a strong case for Indian pharmaceutical products which could help bring down costs in the Chinese health sector.