Embassy of India
Commerce Secretary Mr. Anup Wadhawan concludes his two day visit to China
Mr. Anup Wadhawan, India’s Commerce Secretary paid a two-day official visit to Beijing
on 21-22 January 2019. He discussed the progress made under RCEP negotiations and
efforts to strengthen bilateral trade with his counterpart, Mr. Wang Shouwen, Vice Minister of
China’s Ministry of Commerce. He also had a bilateral meeting with Mr. Zhang Jiwen, Vice
Minister of GACC responsible for examining market access for India’s agriculture and allied
products. The Commerce Secretary also had a brief interaction with Indian IT and pharma
companies present in China.
2. During the meeting with Mr. Zhang Jiwen, Vice Minister of GACC, the Commerce Secretary complimented GACC for expeditiously addressing some long pending market access issues after the Informal Summit in Wuhan between President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The protocol on exports of non-basmati rice was signed in June 2018 on the sidelines of the SCO Summit. GACC also approved 6 Indian mills to export rapeseed meal to China. The protocol on exports of fish meal and fish oil was signed during the visit of China’s Vice Minister of GACC to New Delhi in November 2018. China’s GACC has also deputed experts to inspect Indian soya bean meal establishments and pomegranate orchards and pack houses in December 2018 and SPS Protocol for these products are at advanced stage of discussion.
3. During the current visit of the Commerce Secretary, India and China signed the protocol for exports of Indian tobacco to China. This recent period has thus seen significant progress in market access for 6 agriculture and allied products from India. The Commerce Secretary requested GACC to expedite market access for other products like okra, soya bean, bovine meat and dairy products.
4. The two sides also held a detailed discussion on the widening trade deficit. The Commerce Secretary pressed for more actions from the Chinese side to support and promote exports of Indian products to China. He also pitched for more market access to Indian IT companies, pharmaceuticals and agriculture products, including major commodities like sugar, rice, milk and milk products. He noted that as a large producer of these commodities, India can emerge as a most reliable source for China.
5. Prior to the Vice Ministerial level discussion, Mr Sudhanshu Pandey, Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce and Chief Negotiator of India for RCEP, also held extensive discussions on RCEP on January 21, 2019 with Mr Yang Zhengwei, Deputy Director General, International Trade and Economic Affairs, Ministry of Commerce, China.
6. RCEP is the most important ongoing regional trade Agreement which aims at integrating major economics in Asia, which constitutes 30 percent of world GDP and 45 percent of world population. Negotiations were conducted across all the three pillars of RCEP, i.e., goods, services and investment. Bilateral negotiations between India and China are crucial for early conclusion of RCEP negotiations.