Sitharaman in Shanghai to attend BRICS trade ministers meet

Sitharaman in Shanghai to attend BRICS trade ministers meet

India will push for early conclusion of a joint growth plan for the MSMEs at the meeting.

The Dollar Business Bureau

Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman reached Shanghai on Monday for attending the two-day meeting of trade ministers of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), starting on Tuesday.

During the meeting, it is expected that Sitharaman would raise concerns over the increasing trade deficit of India with its neighbour China.

The seventh meeting of five-nation bloc – BRICS, will discuss on expanding cooperation in e-commerce in the forthcoming annual meeting, the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) of China said.

Cooperation in e-commerce such as in the fields of payments and logistics, is fast emerging among the BRICS members, with several products of the member-nations gaining traction in China, said Zhang Shaogang, Director at Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs with China’s MOC.

“Economic and technological cooperation will be included in the agenda for the first time in the trade ministers’ meetings history to improve the blocs capabilities in service trade, e-commerce and other fields,” he said.

On the bilateral side, Sitharaman is likely to have discussions with China’s Commerce Minister on the trade deficit which has now reached over $50 billion out of the $70 billion bilateral trade between the two neighbours.

Wang Hejun, Head, MOC’s Trade Remedy and Investigation Bureau, while reacting to India’s measure to start anti-dumping investigation for photovoltaic cells and units imported from China, Malaysia and Taiwan, said that China is closely looking into the investigation and hopes that the country will conduct the investigation in a judicious manner and in line with the relevant rules.

Wang further said that adoption of restrictive measures for photovoltaic products trade by India would not only affect the photovoltaic sector growth in the country, but also impact the long-term development of the sector worldwide and also the trade and economic cooperation between India and China.

At the meeting, India will push for early conclusion of a joint growth plan for the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). In addition, easier visa procedures for business community and lesser restrictions on the movement of professionals among the member countries are some other areas where India might put emphasis in the meeting.

Trade among BRICS countries in 2014 was only $297 billion, which is less than 5% of $6.5 trillion trade of five nations with the world.