Ahead of her first meeting with her Chinese counterpart here, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said she will make a strong pitch for greater access for Indian goods and services into China and seek big ticket investments including for Chinese industrial parks in India.
On her first visit to China, Sitharaman who is part of the Indian delegation accompanying Vice President Hamid Ansari will meet her Chinese counterpart Gao Hucheng tomorrow during which she said will invite Chinese investment into India.
According to China its current investments in India stands at USD 1.1 billion, most of them made in Gujarat.
India is asking China to open its market for Indian IT and pharmaceuticals besides step up investments to compensate the trade deficit which averages around USD 35 billion per year.
Sitharaman said she will press the Chinese minister to provide greater market access to Indian goods like gems, jewellery, grey cotton fabric, pharmaceuticals and IT.
"The larger backdrop with which we are working is that there is definably a big imbalance with China," she told Beijing-based Indian media here today.
"We are importing lots more than we are exporting. The scope for Chinese to come to India to somewhat redress the imbalance to get their investments in India to set up manufacturing several goods to do some justice to redress the imbalance," she said.
"I want to raise with the Minister that there is immense scope for Chinese investments in India both in manufacturing and other sectors in which Chinese do have an advantage whether it is infrastructure, railways. More such areas can be found where the Chinese investments can be encouraged," she said.
An MoU is expected to be signed focusing on a large framework for Chinese industrial parks with big investments.
India expects four industrial parks in which a variety of goods could be manufactured.
Chinese investments would also be welcomed into infrastructure development and railways to balance the trade imbalance, she said.
Asked about China's concerns over market access problems in India, she said all such bottlenecks would be looked into.
"When we are inviting we cannot be sitting on tonne load of bureaucratic problems. We can certainly facilitate that," she said.
Sitharaman who met a large delegation of Indian businessmen and officials of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), said she gathered that the cost of production has gone up in China in view of rise in labour wages.
Also China faced the demographic problem with lot of its work force ageing.
"Ironically we are less expensive than Chinese. Market can find its own equilibrium here. You are better off in India than in China," she said.