First USA, then France and now the Dragon is here! Deals worth $16 b. being signed

New Delhi: After multi-billion dollar deals with US and French companies, Indian businesses are inking $16 billion worth deals with China’s industry, whose representatives are accompanying Premier Wen Jiabao on his three-day visit to India.

“The (investment and trade promotion) mission is scheduled to sign economic and trade agreement worth more than $16 billion with Indian companies,” Wen said in the presence of Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma in New Delhi.

Addressing a gathering of Indian and Chinese industry captains, the visiting premier said China is ready to work with India to increase the scale, and expand the scope of bilateral business cooperation.

With two-way trade between India and China poised to cross $60 billion this year, Wen said that during his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh he would discuss ways to enhance it further.

“I will discuss with Prime Minister Singh, the ways to substantially increase our trade volume and set a new target in this regard,” he said.

There is enough scope for expansion of the bilateral trade as it accounted for a mere 0.2 percent of the world’s total trade, he said, adding the two countries have completed a joint feasibility study for a regional trade agreement.

“Believing that this arrangement will benefit both sides, we look forward for the early launch of the negotiation process,” Wen said.

On India’s concerns on trade imbalance, he said: “China takes it’s seriously.”

“China takes seriously the trade imbalance between our countries and stands ready to take further measures to facilitate the access of Indian IT products, pharmaceuticals and agro products to the Chinese market,” Wen said.

India had a trade imbalance of $19 billion with China in 2009-10.

Agreements, which will be signed during Wen’s visit, include those between China Development Bank and Reliance Power, China Aluminum International Trading Co and Vedanta Aluminum Ltd, Bank of China and IDBI, Dongfang Electric Corporation Ltd and Abhijeet Projects Ltd.

Indian industry signed $10 billion worth business deals with US companies during President Barack Obama’s visit in November and followed it up with $13 billion  worth transactions with French business groups during President Nicholas Sasrkozy’s visit earlier this month.

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