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China willing to launch FTA talks with India: Keqiang

Keqiang said his government supports Chinese enterprises to increase investments in India and expand trade in services

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang today offered Indian goods more access to his country's market for narrowing bilateral trade deficit and expressed willingness to start talks for a free trade agreement with India.

"We also understand India's concerns of trade deficit. China is also willing to provide facilitation to India's products to access Chinese markets.

"I am confident that we have the ability to mitigate the trade imbalance between our two counties and China never has any intention to seek trade surplus," Keqiang told the Indian business community here.

He was speaking at a function organised by industry body Ficci and Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) here.

"China is willing to launch negotiations on a China-India regional trading arrangement," he said.

Keqiang said his government supports Chinese enterprises to increase investments in India and expand trade in services.

"China and India are huge markets with great potential... India has competitive edge in IT, software and bio-medicines...," he said adding China can also help India in its infrastructure projects.

He also said both sides should work together to curb protectionism.

While India's export to China stood at only $13.52 billion in 2012-13, its imports from that country aggregated $54.3 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $40.78 billion.

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First Published: Tue, May 21 2013. 14:10 IST